Posts Tagged ‘spy films’

'I Can Get the Pentagon to Vouch for Me' - Michael Bay letter to the CIA

‘I Can Get the Pentagon to Vouch for Me’ – Michael Bay letter to the CIA

Michael Bay is well known for working closely with government agencies when making his films, mostly the Pentagon but also NASA.  Less well known is how he worked with the CIA to vet his script for the Benghazi movie 13 Hours, and how his request to film the CIA's Memorial ...
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How the DOD's Entertainment Liaison Office Protects the Entire US Government

How the DOD’s Entertainment Liaison Office Protects the Entire US Government

The DOD's directive on working with Hollywood says that they can provide production assistance if it is deemed 'in the best interest of the Nation', but as with all their criteria for deciding whether to give support the Pentagon interpret this very broadly.  They use the considerable influence that DOD ...
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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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ClandesTime 182 - Clear and Present Danger

ClandesTime 182 – Clear and Present Danger

1994’s Clear and Present Danger is one of the most important movies in the cinema of the war on drugs, depicting black operations by the CIA and US military against a Colombian drug cartel. In this episode I do a deep dive on Clear and Present Danger, and how it ...
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The FBI and DEA Spy on Hollywood Producers

The FBI and DEA Spy on Hollywood Producers

The relationship between intelligence agencies and the entertainment industry is complex and multi-faceted.  Angles include the influence of the agencies on their own public image, the influence of entertainment on the agencies, and intelligence-gathering by those agencies on the culture industry.  Documents released by the FBI and the DEA show ...
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The DEA and the Entertainment Industry: Spying, Censorship and Control

The DEA and the Entertainment Industry: Spying, Censorship and Control

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) recently released nearly 200 pages of contracts between themselves and entertainment producers, which for the first time shed light on how they interact with Hollywood. The documents reveal that the DEA has been quite active in the entertainment industry, and exercise stringent control over how ...
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ClandesTime 181 - The Cinema of Iran-Contra

ClandesTime 181 – The Cinema of Iran-Contra

Iran-Contra is in many ways the definitive government conspiracy – involving guns, drugs, anti-communism and black operations, it went all the way to the White House. This week I examine several films that implicitly or explicitly incorporate the Iran-Contra conspiracy into their plots, as well as movies about Iran-Contra that ...
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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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