Posts Tagged ‘censorship’

Winston, The One-Horse Propaganda Machine

Winston, The One-Horse Propaganda Machine

Winston the police horse was named after Winston Churchill, having joined the Met in the 1940s.  He featured in numerous royal events, ridden by both King George and princess and then Queen Elizabeth during the Trooping the Colour ceremonies in the 40s and early 50s.  Winston was also the subject ...
Read more
Violent Sadism and a Mink Glove - How the BBFC Censored Thunderball

Violent Sadism and a Mink Glove – How the BBFC Censored Thunderball

The James Bond films, like the books on which they are based, have always pushed the boundaries of acceptable portraits of sex and violence.  Documents from the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) show how for Thunderball they reviewed the script, recommending many changes if the film was to achieve ...
Read more
British Police began vetting film scripts in 1946 - but feared losing 'aura of secrecy and glamour'

British Police began vetting film scripts in 1946 – but feared losing ‘aura of secrecy and glamour’

In post-war Britain the Metropolitan Police were concerned about how they were being portrayed in films so they instituted a policy of vetting film scripts.  However, they were concerned that by seeking a more public profile and engaging with the film industry that they would lose the 'aura of secrecy ...
Read more
J Edgar Hoover Didn't Like Federal Dick

J Edgar Hoover Didn’t Like Federal Dick

The FBI's involvement in Hollywood began in the early 1930s - before it was even called the FBI.  In 1933 MGM approached the Bureau about producing a series of short films based on real-life criminal cases.  They were provided access to Bureau files and in exchange agreed to let J ...
Read more
Marine Corps emails on The Sum of All Fears

Marine Corps emails on The Sum of All Fears

2002's The Sum of All Fears was the fourth major film adaptation of Tom Clancy's spy novels and perhaps the most visually spectacular.  The part where terrorists nuke the Super Bowl, destroying Baltimore in the process, is one of the best nuking-a-city scenes ever committed to film.  Recently released emails ...
Read more
'Miss Spears was not a public item during Desert Storm' - Marine Corps Movie Script Notes

‘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 ...
Read more
CIA Open Source Records on Executive Action

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 ...
Read more
How the Pentagon rewrote Goldeneye

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 ...
Read more
ClandesTime 103 - MI5 Censorship of Panorama

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 ...
Read more
Top Secret File on Government Censorship of Panorama

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 ...
Read more
Support