Posts Tagged ‘MI6’

Pentagon Production Assistance Agreement for Tomorrow Never Dies

Published November 2nd 2016

Tomorrow Never Dies is perhaps the most military-heavy Bond film of recent times, benefiting from production support from both the British and American armed forces. Despite this the Pentagon’s Hollywood liaison Phil Strub denied that they provided any assistance to the film-makers. This document proves that Strub is not telling the truth and provides new details of the negotiation struck between the producers and the Pentagon.

The CIA’s James Bond File

Published October 20th 2016

The CIA has had an interest in James Bond almost since its inception as a series of novels in the 1950s. The books were probably the first spy fiction to refer to the CIA by name and to depict them through the character of Felix Leiter. This led to a friendship between Ian Fleming and CIA bigwig Allen Dulles, who not only discussed with Fleming how the CIA were portrayed in the Bond novels but also sourced ideas from the books. The CIA has released relatively few internal documents about the Bond books and films but they do have a considerable number of open source records that shed light on their interest in the franchise.

Review: The Double-Cross System

Published June 7th 2016

In my opinion, the importance of the intelligence war in World War 2 cannot be overstated. Economically, Britain was essentially bankrupt by the end of the war. Militarily they were not as well resourced and equipped as Germany with the exception of naval warfare, where the odds were much closer than in World War 1. The most decisive factor in Britain being on the victorious side of WW2 was their superior intelligence capabilities. There is nothing new in the technique of turning the agents of the enemy into channels for deception and misdirection, but the British in WW2 turned it into an art form. The Double-Cross System by John Cecil Masterman describes perhaps the most effective example of the use of double agents in modern military history.

The CIA and Hollywood 08 – The Quiet American

Published June 5th 2016

In this first episode of the new season Pearse and I discuss the 1958 spy drama The Quiet American, adapted from the novel by Graham Greene. We focus in on the role of Air Force and CIA officer Ed Lansdale’s relationship with the film-maker Joseph Mankiewicz, and how the CIA were involved in assisting Mankiewicz the first major American movie to be filmed in Vietnam. Mankiewicz met Lansdale in Vietnam while doing research for the movie and, apparently unaware that Lansdale is one of the inspirations for the Pyle character in the original book, befriended him. Lansdale later reviewed the script and wrote to Mankiewicz encouraging the changes he had made to the storyline and characters.

Graham Greene’s FBI File

Published May 23rd 2016

Graham Greene was one of the most important novelists of the 20th century, and one of the greatest spy novelists of all time. He also holds the dubious honour of having worked for MI6 during WW2 but being spied on by the FBI as a suspected Communist. Few spies have FBI files, so Greene is in a very small and distinct club. The FBI records cover over a decade during the early Cold War, and Greene himself wrote a response to them.

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