documents

‘The Script was Entertaining but very Sophmorish’ – FBI Deputy Director on The X-Files

In 1998 retired FBI deputy director Cartha DeLoach was asked by the producers of The X-Files to review the script for an episode of the show that was set in the 1950s.  The FBI recently released DeLoach's response to the producers, where he branded t

Why Did the Pentagon Support Godzilla and Transformers, but Rejected Jarhead?

The 2005 biographical war film Jarhead is one of a very small number of films set in the first Gulf War.  Despite being based on the autobiography of a Marine who served in Desert Storm the DOD refused to provide it with military support. 

How the Pentagon Rewrote Man of Steel

The Superman reboot Man of Steel launched the (now abandoned) DC Extended Universe, and put a much darker tinge on the Superman franchise than any previous incarnation, especially the Christopher Reeve classics.  Man of Steel benefited from large-scale support from the military, but hidden until now are the d

The Pentagon, Superman and the Freedom of Information Act

In 1977 the producers of Superman and Superman II approached the Pentagon to try to obtain stock footage of missiles launching, for use in depicting Lex Luthor's dastardly plot to nuke the San Andreas fault.  The Air Force and Strategic Air Command were provided

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 Felt) I

Don’t Shoot the Looters – Military Script Notes on Deep Impact

Deep Impact is one of a pair of twin films released in 1998 that were based around a giant meteor colliding with earth. The film and its twin, the more successful Armageddon, were both supported by NASA and the Department of Defense.

The Pentagon Worked on Every Major Military Movie for Over a Decade After WW2

The post-WW2 period was the zenith for military and war movies - over 200 were made in the 1950s, and the same in the 1960s.  According to an entry in the DOD's Hollywood database they provided support to every major military movie f

Pentagon Contracts Show US Army Subsidized Production Of National Geographic’s ‘Long Road Home’

Production assistance agreements released by the Defense Department show the United States military used taxpayer money to subsidize part of the production of the National Geographic series, “The Long Road H

‘All Assistance is Provided at No Cost to You’ – FBI Letter to Martin Scorcese

In late 2009 the FBI got wind of the fact that Martin Scorcese was developing The Wolf of Wall Street, about stock fraudster turned federal cooperator Jordan Belfort.  So the Bureau's Michael Kortan wrote to Scorcese to offer their help and supp

‘We Trust the Box Office Becomes a Bell Ringer’ – Pentagon memo on Top Gun

Top Gun was an enormous critical and commercial success and helped redefine the military-supported movie.  It is not quite a war film, because there's no war and only a handful of people are killed.  It isn't a history or biopic because all the char

The US Military Celebrate Captain Marvel as ‘the film girls need’

The US military, particularly the Air Force, invested a lot of time and resources in helping make Captain Marvel, and so far they are happy with the return on that investment.  Yesterday, an article on Military.com celebrated Captain Marvel as 'the film girls need' and 'one the military commu

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 surv

How (and why) the Pentagon Rewrote Dennis the Menace

Of all the many, many, many projects the Pentagon has supported, one of the most surprising and seemingly innocent is the mid-century TV series of Dennis the Menace.  In one episode 'Dennis at Boot Camp' the producers asked for permission for three days filming at the N

Why the Pentagon Rejected Attack of the Killer Tomatoes

In early 1977 the producers of Attack of the Killer Tomatoes approached the Pentagon about filming a couple of brief scenes at National Guard armories.  Even though the National Guard Public Affairs staff thought it was a fun film and were happy to h

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.

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 fo

Steven Seagal and the Geneva Convention

1996's action thriller Executive Decision may be light on action and lacking thrills but it is notable for one thing - the script violated the Geneva Convention and led to the Pentagon temporarily withdrawing support for the film.

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.

How Many Movies has the Pentagon Prevented from Being Made?

The Pentagon's censorship of movie scripts is fairly well established - I have documented numerous instances on this site. But their ultimate power is the ability to kill a production, to prevent a film being made.

When Thatcher Exploited the England Football Team

The 1990 World Cup was considered a big success for the England football team, as getting to the semi-finals was the greatest progress in a tournament since winning the trophy in 1966.

Why Does the Pentagon ████ing Hate Swearing in Movies?

One of the Pentagon's consistent bugbears when it comes to movie scripts is swearing. Whether it is from the mouths of military or civilian characters, the DOD doesn't like those ████ing cuss words. But why not?

The Pentagon’s China Syndrome

While some senior military officials have spoken openly about the possibility of a war between the US and China, the entertainment liaison offices appear to be working to ensure that doesn't happen.

How the Pentagon Helped Hollywood Launder the Nazis’ Reputation

Four years ago, scholar Ben Urwand revealed how the Nazis' man in Hollywood Georg Gyssling censored and rewrote film scripts to remove scenes and dialogue that criticised the Nazi regime.

Why Does the US Army have a Collection of Nazi Art?

The latest release from the US Army's entertainment liaison office provokes many questions. Why did they refuse to support the movie Rampage? Why are the military pitching ideas to studio executives? Who is in charge of the Pentagon's operations in Hollywood?

ClandesTime 162 – The Spook Who Sat by the Door

The Spook Who Sat by the Door tells the story of the first African-American to be recruited by the CIA. After becoming disillusioned with the Agency he quits and sets up a black power guerilla army that wages urban war across the United States.

Top Gun ‘Rehabilitated the Military’s Image’ After Vietnam, According to the Pentagon

The late Cold War classic Top Gun is one of the most well-liked military movies of all time. It's combination of romance, comedy and never-seen-before aerial action was made possible by extensive support from the DOD, particularly the US Navy.

FBI Say They Cannot Find Their File on Radical Author Sam Greenlee

Sam Greenlee is perhaps most famous for writing the novel The Spook Who Sat By the Door, which was adapted into a film in the 1970s.  Greenlee believed that the CIA and FBI suppressed the film because it portrayed them in such a bad light, and promoted b

The US Navy say they have 20,000 Pages of Documents on Top Gun 2

I recently filed a FOIA request for documents on Top Gun 2. Going through the entertainment liaison office reports it is clear that - just as on the original film - the Navy are taking the lead on military support.

Does the CIA use Hollywood Movies as Training Films?

In September 1977 the renowned Hollywood gossip columnist Rona Barrett appeared on Good Morning America to talk about spy films. Sat alongside her was CIA director Stansfield Turner, who commented that Hollywood movies would make poor training films for CIA spies.

The ’24 Mentality’: The CIA, Torture and the ‘Ticking Bomb’ Scenario

Just as politicians start to believe their own speeches, intelligence agencies start to believe their own propaganda. Nowhere is this clearer than in the CIA's black stite torture program initiated in the wake of 9/11.

How Product Placement Serves the Military-Industrial Complex

Wings (1927) was one of the first Hollywood films to benefit from full military support, was the first film to include sound effects on a film reel alongside the in-theater orchestra, and was the first film to win the Academy Award for Best Picture.