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In this episode we take a look at O.S.S., a 1946 film produced in close co-operation with the real life OSS, and the first movie in history to mention the CIA.  I outline the unusually large degree of state sponsorship of this film, the biographies of Alan Ladd (the film’s star), Richard Maibaum (the writer/producer) and John M Shaheen (the real life OSS officer who was a technical consultant on the film), and analyse the purpose of the film.  I also look at how exceptions must have been made to grant this film a release certificate, given the production code governing movies at the time.


O.S.S. (1946)

ClandesTime 034 – The Hollywood Ten

Database of OSS personnel

Movie Mystery & Suspense entry on O.S.S.

TCM page on O.S.S.

Demanufacturing Consent – Zero Dark Snowden

Patent for Life insurance vending machine

Harold Weisberg Archive

The first document to mention the CIA

The Production Code (the Hays Code)