Posts Tagged ‘spy films’

Watergate, the Mark Felt Biopic and the FBI

Watergate, the Mark Felt Biopic and the FBI

In my latest article for Shadowproof I examine the FBI's role in the Mark Felt biopic Mark Felt: The Man Who Brought Down the White House.  Using documents obtained under FOIA and an interview with Ed Gray, the son of FBI acting director Pat Gray (who is depicted in Mark ...
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Unthinkable

How the FBI Spied on and Rewrote the Torture Thriller Unthinkable

The 2010 thriller Unthinkable courted controversy by depicting the torture of a suspected terrorist who claims to have planted nuclear bombs in three US cities. Despite a strong cast including Samuel L Jackson, Carrie-Ann Moss and Stephen Root it was released direct-to-video and lost money. Recently released documents show that ...
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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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Little Mizz Innocent Launch

‘Film contains Russian Mob content and it was confirmed okay’ – FBI emails on Little Mizz Innocent

Little Mizz Innocent has been languishing in development hell for several years as the 'female Jason Bourne movie' has struggled to get into production. It tells the story of a UN interpreter 'caught in a power struggle between the FBI and a criminal dynasty'. FBI emails released under FOIA reveal ...
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'Without any assistance from the military, then naturally, anything can happen' - DOD File on Ice Station Zebra

‘Without any assistance from the military, then naturally, anything can happen’ – DOD File on Ice Station Zebra

The production of Ice Station Zebra is a great case study in just how much influence the Pentagon can have over a movie script.  The initial script - by multi-Oscar winning writer Paddy Chayefsky - was rejected by the DOD for being too politically critical and culturally subversive.  In the ...
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ClandesTime 175 – An Alternative History of Al Qaeda: The Death of Osama Bin Laden

ClandesTime 175 – An Alternative History of Al Qaeda: The Death of Osama Bin Laden

Osama Bin Laden’s death is the perfect postmodern event, in that most of the reports detailing how, where and when he died contradict all the other reports. This week I take an in-depth look at the Abbottabad raid of 2011 and the official story of Bin Laden’s death, analyzing some ...
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The CIA, the National Reconnaissance Office and Ice Station Zebra

The CIA, the National Reconnaissance Office and Ice Station Zebra

The 1968 spy and counterspy classic Ice Station Zebra was inspired by a real life event during the CIA/Air Force Corona spy satellite program.  In April 1959 the satellite Discoverer 2 became the first to send a recovery capsule containing satellite surveillance imagery back to earth, but there was a ...
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ClandesTime 173 - Public Enemies

ClandesTime 173 – Public Enemies

Public Enemies is a 2009 historical drama/thriller film that tells the story of the Bureau of Investigation’s manhunt for Public Enemy Number One John Dillinger. In this episode I examine the film, the politics of crime and the romanticising of criminals. I explore these themes in light of FBI documents ...
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How and Why the FBI Rewrite Hollywood Movies

How and Why the FBI Rewrite Hollywood Movies

Just like other government agencies the FBI are deeply involved in the entertainment industry, collaborating with film andTV producers to polish the Bureau’s public imageand project their messaging into the minds of moviegoers. Documents recently released under FOIA show that the FBI routinely make script changes on movies that they ...
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FBI Apparently Had No Problem with 'Deep State' Storyline in Shooter

FBI Apparently Had No Problem with ‘Deep State’ Storyline in Shooter

Compared to the DOD, the US intelligence agencies support a more politically diverse range of movies, from the hi-tech surveillance thriller Enemy of the State to torture porn like Zero Dark Thirty and Unthinkable.  One such controversial movie was Shooter, which depicts a deep state element framing a Vietnam veteran ...
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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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DOD Accidentally Release Social Security Numbers for Executive Decision Stars

DOD Accidentally Release Social Security Numbers for Executive Decision Stars

The Department of Defense's entertainment liaison office file on the 1996 thriller Executive Decision was, for many years, secreted in a private archive in a library in Georgetown. Now liberated by Matt Alford, one page of the file details the stars who needed to be filmed on-board military aircraft, including ...
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