Posts Tagged ‘censorship’

‘Miss Spears was not a public item during Desert Storm’ – Marine Corps Movie Script Notes

In early 2009 independent film makers Jon Stevens and Frank Jones approached the US Marine Corps entertainment liaison office with a request to review their comedy script Beverly Hills Marine, set during Operation Desert Storm.  In response to a FOIA request the USMC provided me a copy of the notes ...
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CIA Open Source Records on Executive Action

Executive Action is perhaps the most famous conspiracy thriller about the John Kennedy assassination, with the exception of Oliver Stone's JFK.  Recently released CIA records in the CREST database show that they were keeping an eye the production and how it was being received.  The articles even detail how the ...
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How the Pentagon rewrote Goldeneye

Goldeneye is possibly the best of the Pierce Brosnan James Bond films, but like two others in the Brosnan period it relied on US military support.  This entailed the Pentagon reviewing the script and demanding two changes - one political, one promotional - in exchange for helping to shoot one ...
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ClandesTime 103 – MI5 Censorship of Panorama

In 1980 the BBC's documentary series Panorama began developing an episode on British intelligence.  This was the first of its kind, at least by such a prominent and respected series, but both the central government and the intelligence agencies were not happy.  Over a period of several months they put ...
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Top Secret File on Government Censorship of Panorama

In the summer of 1980 the BBC's flagship documentary series Panorama was developing a TV special about British intelligence.  This was the first film of its kind, and perhaps unsurprisingly Thatcher's government was not happy about it.  Downing Street put pressure on the film-makers via BBC Director-General Ian Threthowan, and ...
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How and why the Pentagon established their control of movie scripts

I recently acquired some decades-old Pentagon directives and instructions.  These documents formed the basis for DOD policy in their engagement with the entertainment industry, establishing a range of conflicting criteria for the military's liaisons with film and TV producers.  This provided them with a range of bases for altering scripts ...
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The CIA and Hollywood – Tom and Pearse on Black Op Radio

Pearse and I were recently invited onto Black Op Radio with Len Osanic to talk about The CIA and Hollywood.  We mostly discussed Ed Lansdale's involvement in The Quiet American (1958), which butchered the original book in part as a result of Lansdale's influence on writer/director Joseph Mankiewicz.  We also ...
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‘Well Dressed Negroes’ and ‘Dignified Natives’ – How Luigi Luraschi Rewrote Movies for the CIA

In 1953, in the early weeks of the Eisenhower administration, the CIA conducted an operation to alter the content of Hollywood films to help promote positive images of America to foreign audiences.  A series of letters addressed to a CIA officer named 'Owen' were written by an executive at Paramount ...
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ClandesTime 101 – Nightcrawler

Nightcrawler is one of those rare films that is beautifully written, very well executed and is about something that actually matters.  It tells the story of Lou Bloom, a young man in poverty-struck Los Angeles who gets into nightcrawling - filming violent crimes and accidents and selling the footage to ...
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ClandesTime 100 – Sex, Violence and Censorship

Why do we censor films?  Intuitively we all know the answer to this question - because there are some things we don't want to see on the screen.  In this episode we examine film censorship, focusing primarily on the treatment of cinematic violence by the MPAA and BBFC.  Using Walter ...
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