Posts Tagged ‘creative freedom’

The DEA and Breaking Bad: Why Hank Never Tapped Jesse's Phone

The DEA and Breaking Bad: Why Hank Never Tapped Jesse’s Phone

Despite its enormous popularity there are many problems with Breaking Bad - the utterly racist depiction of Mexicans, the glorifying of a sociopathic protagonist and that incredibly boring and pointless fifth season come to mind.  But what has never been discussed before is how the show functions as propaganda for ...
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ClandesTime 183 - Fields of Fire

ClandesTime 183 – Fields of Fire

Fields of Fire is one of the greatest movies that was never made. A brutal but sympathetic portrait of the Vietnam War, it was denied military support despite being written by a former Secretary of the Navy. This week I examine the story of Fields of Fire using a file ...
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'Fuck John Wayne' - Why the DOD Prevented the movie Fields of Fire from Being Made

‘Fuck John Wayne’ – Why the DOD Prevented the movie Fields of Fire from Being Made

When James Webb approached the Pentagon to ask for assistance making his Vietnam war drama Fields of Fire he had every right to expect their support.  A former Marine and short-term Secretary of the Navy he was a military veteran who had written his novel based on his own real-life ...
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Black Hawk Down, the LA Riots and Clear and Present Danger

Black Hawk Down, the LA Riots and Clear and Present Danger

When the producers of Clear and Present Danger approached the Pentagon to ask for military support they probably weren't expecting 6 months of script negotiations to get their film into a shape deemed acceptable by the entertainment liaison offices.  Documents from the DOD show how their concerns ranged from the ...
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'A Complete Rewrite of the Storyline Would be Required' - DOD File on The Presidio

‘A Complete Rewrite of the Storyline Would be Required’ – DOD File on The Presidio

1988's The Presidio wanted to film at the real Presidio in San Francisco, an Army installation.  As per usual this required a full military script review, but the DOD responded demanding a 'complete rewrite' before they would approve access to the base.  The resulting film bears little resemblance to the ...
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Review - Primetime Propaganda: The True Hollywood Story of How The Left Took Over Your TV

Review – Primetime Propaganda: The True Hollywood Story of How The Left Took Over Your TV

In a guest article for Spy Culture my good friend and co-author of National Security Cinema Matt Alford reviews Ben Shapiro's book Primetime Propaganda. Matt examines whether Shapiro's central premise - that there is a left/liberal bias in entertainment media - is actually true, and presents some of the limits ...
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Subscriber Podcast #30 - Starship Troopers

Subscriber Podcast #30 – Starship Troopers

On this month's subscriber-only podcast I review one of my favourite films of all time - Starship Troopers. I discuss the film's dual narratives, how it is an anti-war film disguised as a piece of war propaganda, and why it was so misunderstood when it first came out. I outline ...
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Forrest Gump - Tom Secker on Fortress on a Hill

Forrest Gump – Tom Secker on Fortress on a Hill

Chris and Danny invited me back onto their podcast to discuss the 1994 comedy-drama Forrest Gump.  We talked about the original book by Winston Groom as well as McNamara's 100,000 - a project to recruit troops into the US Army who would normally have fallen below the required standards.  We ...
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ClandesTime 177 - Ice Station Zebra

ClandesTime 177 – Ice Station Zebra

While it is now considered a Cold War classic Ice Station Zebra was a flop when it was first released. This week, I review Ice Station Zebra and analyse the development of the film, how it differs quite radically from the book, and why the DOD rejected an early version ...
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Suid Archive Deep Impact

Subscriber Podcast #27 – The Suid Archive

In this month's subscriber-only podcast I explore several DOD-supported films and the files on them from the Lawrence Suid archive. Focusing in on Air Force One, Deep Impact, The Final Countdown, Firefox and BAT-21 I outline the script changes forced on the film-makers in exchange for military support, from removing ...
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ClandesTime 167 – Phil Strub’s Greatest Hits

ClandesTime 167 – Phil Strub’s Greatest Hits

I recently found out that Strub retired from his job as the DOD’s Hollywood liaison last July, though this wasn’t covered by any news outlets and the DOD didn’t bother to tell anyone. In this episode I go through some of Strub’s greatest hits – the good, the bad and ...
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US Army Documents Reveal Massive Support For Long Road Home Miniseries, Possible Fraud At Military’s Entertainment Liaison Office

US Army Documents Reveal Massive Support For Long Road Home Miniseries, Possible Fraud At Military’s Entertainment Liaison Office

The National Geographic drama series The Long Road Home tells a version of the story of the battle for Sadr City in 2004, a key moment in the war in Iraq. Newly-released emails and other documents from the US Army detail the extensive military support on the TV series, and ...
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