Posts Tagged ‘spy films’

'James Bond is my favorite anyway' - CIA on Request for Film Production Assistance

‘James Bond is my favorite anyway’ – CIA on Request for Film Production Assistance

In 1981 White House aide Joe Holmes contacted the CIA as part of his scheme to encourage the production of 'pro-hero' movies and TV series.  A Hollywood studio wanted CIA assistance for a spy film but CIA Director Bill Casey refused the request.  Internal Agency memos reveal that they were ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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The Second Best Secret Agent in the Whole Wide World

The Second Best Secret Agent in the Whole Wide World

From the Donald Trump school of naming things came The Second Best Secret Agent in the Whole Wide World, a 1965 spoof of the James Bond movies.  Like many 1960s spy thrillers The Second Best Secret Agent was on the radar of the CIA. Licensed to Kill The movie began ...
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Spy Culture in the American Journal of Economics and Sociology

Spy Culture in the American Journal of Economics and Sociology

It is with some pride that I can announce that the American Journal of Economics and Sociology has today published an edition featuring not just one, not just one and a half but two articles that I wrote.  The latest issue of AJES focuses on the role of the CIA ...
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'We only show the CIA killing nasty agents' - Michael Winner

‘We only show the CIA killing nasty agents’ – Michael Winner

While I have written about 1973 thriller Scorpio before, documents made available on the CIA CREST database shed new light on this, the first movie to film at Langley.  The CIA were not just spying on media coverage of the film as it developed but also had assets within the ...
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The CIA and Hollywood - Tom and Pearse on Black Op Radio

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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'No Overt Recognition of the Force as Marines' - Marine Corps folder on assistance to Die Another Day

‘No Overt Recognition of the Force as Marines’ – Marine Corps folder on assistance to Die Another Day

Die Another Day is widely considered to be one of the worst James Bond films ever made.  It's the one with the invisible car in the ice cave and Halle Berry.  The production got limited supported from the US Marine Corps, who recently released a short folder to me from ...
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NSA emails on Enemy of the State

NSA emails on Enemy of the State

Paranoid thriller Enemy of the State provoked such a reaction within the NSA that they instigated a large PR campaign to counter public perceptions of a surveillance agency running wild.  NSA emails show that even while the movie was being made, agency employees were unhappy about the producers filming from ...
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'Would Only Encourage Snickers and Derision' - CIA Review of Screenplay for <i>The CIA</i>

‘Would Only Encourage Snickers and Derision’ – CIA Review of Screenplay for The CIA

In 1969 the CIA obtained a copy of The CIA, a screenplay being developed at Universal Studios, written by William Woodfield and Allan Balter.  Woodfield and Balter were perhaps best known for writing the TV series of Mission: Impossible, until they had a well-publicised falling out with series creator Bruce ...
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