Posts Tagged ‘censorship’

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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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‘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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