Posts Tagged ‘war films’

'While the Script is Somewhat Clichéd, We Are Not Movie Critics' - DOD Memo on The Heroes of Desert Storm

‘While the Script is Somewhat Clichéd, We Are Not Movie Critics’ – DOD Memo on The Heroes of Desert Storm

There aren't very many films about the first Gulf War, which is ironic because if ever there was a war for PR purposes, that was it.  While Jarhead and Three Kings were rejected by the Pentagon's Hollywood office, one film that did benefit from military support was The Heroes of ...
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The Film Censorship Cold War — China vs the US

The Film Censorship Cold War — China vs the US

Recently, Martha Bayles of The Atlantic published a hilariously misleading essay calling for Hollywood to produce more pro-American propaganda, in the face of the Chinese government’s increased role in the entertainment industry. While FAIR have put out a solid rebuttal of Bayles’ hack quackery (hat tip to Max Parry who ...
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Napalm, Ambushes and Russian Roulette: Why the Pentagon Rejected The Deer Hunter

Napalm, Ambushes and Russian Roulette: Why the Pentagon Rejected The Deer Hunter

The epic war drama The Deer Hunter won five Oscars, despite the central conceit and metaphor of the film being inaccurate.  This conceit - that the Viet Cong forced American prisoners of war to play Russian Roulette - is the main reason the film was rejected for DOD support, along ...
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ClandesTime 192 - The Cinema of the Navy SEALs

ClandesTime 192 – The Cinema of the Navy SEALs

The US Navy SEALs are known as the ‘quiet professionals’, but in recent times they have become the highest-profile of all US special forces. In this episode I examine several films depicting the SEALs, how the Pentagon has shaped their public image through Hollywood, and why they have become so ...
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The DOD and Lone Survivor

The DOD and Lone Survivor

Lone Survivor is a piece of absolute militaristic schlock, starring the whiny-voiced Marky Mark Wahlberg as Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell - the only survivor of Operation Red Wings, a 2005 special forces joint operation in the summer of 2005.  Over 100 pages of Navy documents show their heavy involvement in ...
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Clint Eastwood and the Geneva Conventions

Clint Eastwood and the Geneva Conventions

One issue that comes up repeatedly in the script changes enforced by the Pentagon is war crimes, and other violations of the Geneva Conventions.  As is so often the case I'm left thinking 'if only the DOD applied the same rules to real life wars as they do to the ...
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Born on the 4th of July - Tom on Fortress on a Hill

Born on the 4th of July – Tom on Fortress on a Hill

In the second part of our discussion (following Combat Obscura), Henri, Keagan and I talked about the 1989 Oliver Stone classic Born on the 4th of July.  Based on the real life experiences of Ron Kovic, we charted the film's development in the late 70s and into the 80s, the ...
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Combat Obscura - Tom on Fortress on a Hill

Combat Obscura – Tom on Fortress on a Hill

I recently joined Henri from the Fortress on a Hill podcast for our latest discussion on military movies. We talked about the eyeopening documentary Combat Obscura, compiled from footage shot by Marine Corps combat cameramen in Afghanistan.  We hone in on how the film breaks through the usual Pentagon filters ...
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'You Need to Keep an Eye on the Director' - US Army emails

‘You Need to Keep an Eye on the Director’ – US Army emails

The US Army's emails on The Long Road Home show that not everything ran smoothly while filming progressed as Fort Hood.  While all of the information on script input is redacted, one email contains production notes from the Army's project officer Lt Col. Timothy Hyde, warning him to 'keep an ...
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The Beirut Marine Barracks Bombing and Heartbreak Ridge

The Beirut Marine Barracks Bombing and Heartbreak Ridge

The US military's negotiations on the 1980s Clint Eastwood vehicle Heartbreak Ridge were protracted and complex, resulting in numerous changes before the movie could be approved for Pentagon support.  This included changing Clint Eastwood's character from a soldier to a marine after the US Army rejected the script, but then ...
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'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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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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