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All content tagged: war films

Spy Culture - 2020-01-06 - Original post - cached version

Rambo: First Blood and Commando are almost twin movies, both centring on a highly skilled military veteran on some sort...

Spy Culture - 2019-12-17 - Original post - cached version

The Vietnam war drama Platoon was recently inducted into the US Library of Congress’ National Film Registry, in recognition for...

Spy Culture - 2019-11-27 - Original post - cached version

Pearl Harbor (2001) is the perfect example of how to spend a lot of money making a terrible film.  Beset...

Spy Culture - 2019-11-19 - Original post - cached version

The latest of several FOIA releases on the film series The Long Road Home includes some of the military’s script...

Spy Culture - 2019-10-30 - Original post - cached version

Good Morning, Vietnam is perhaps the most popular Vietnam war film ever made.  Loosely based on the real life experiences...

Spy Culture - 2019-10-26 - Original post - cached version

The Final Countdown is a classic of good bad cinema, featuring an aircraft carrier that goes through a wormhole and...

Spy Culture - 2019-10-22 - Original post - cached version

There aren’t very many films about the first Gulf War, which is ironic because if ever there was a war...

Spy Culture - 2019-10-04 - Original post - cached version

Recently, Martha Bayles of The Atlantic published a hilariously misleading essay calling for Hollywood to produce more pro-American propaganda, in...

Spy Culture - 2019-09-26 - Original post - cached version

The epic war drama The Deer Hunter won five Oscars, despite the central conceit and metaphor of the film being...

Spy Culture - 2019-09-08 - Original post - cached version

The US Navy SEALs are known as the ‘quiet professionals’, but in recent times they have become the highest-profile of...

Spy Culture - 2019-09-05 - Original post - cached version

Lone Survivor is a piece of absolute militaristic schlock, starring the whiny-voiced Marky Mark Wahlberg as Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell...

Spy Culture - 2019-09-03 - Original post - cached version

One issue that comes up repeatedly in the script changes enforced by the Pentagon is war crimes, and other violations...

Spy Culture - 2019-09-02 - Original post - cached version

In the second part of our discussion (following Combat Obscura), Henri, Keagan and I talked about the 1989 Oliver Stone...

Spy Culture - 2019-08-09 - Original post - cached version

I recently joined Henri from the Fortress on a Hill podcast for our latest discussion on military movies. We talked...

Spy Culture - 2019-08-07 - Original post - cached version

The US Army’s emails on The Long Road Home show that not everything ran smoothly while filming progressed at Fort...

Spy Culture - 2019-07-24 - Original post - cached version

The US military’s negotiations on the 1980s Clint Eastwood vehicle Heartbreak Ridge were protracted and complex, resulting in numerous changes...

Spy Culture - 2019-07-16 - Original post - cached version

Michael Bay is well known for working closely with government agencies when making his films, mostly the Pentagon but also...

Spy Culture - 2019-06-09 - Original post - cached version

Fields of Fire is one of the greatest movies that was never made. A brutal but sympathetic portrait of the...

Spy Culture - 2019-06-07 - Original post - cached version

When James Webb approached the Pentagon to ask for assistance making his Vietnam war drama Fields of Fire he had...

Spy Culture - 2019-05-13 - Original post - cached version

On this month’s subscriber-only podcast I review one of my favourite films of all time – Starship Troopers. I discuss...

Spy Culture - 2019-05-08 - Original post - cached version

The 2005 biographical war film Jarhead is one of a very small number of films set in the first Gulf...

Spy Culture - 2019-04-16 - Original post - cached version

The post-WW2 period was the zenith for military and war movies – over 200 were made in the 1950s, and...

Spy Culture - 2019-04-11 - Original post - cached version

One of the veterans of the ambush in Sadr City in April 2004 has revealed that National Geographic’s film The...

Spy Culture - 2019-04-11 - Original post - cached version

Production assistance agreements released by the Defense Department show the United States military used taxpayer money to subsidize part of...

Spy Culture - 2019-03-26 - Original post - cached version

Word about the entertainment liaison offices continues to spread – The Statist Quo podcast recently did a focus episode on...

Spy Culture - 2019-03-03 - Original post - cached version

The Last Ship is one of the most popular cable TV shows of recent years, as well as one of...

Spy Culture - 2019-02-28 - Original post - cached version
The US Army provided extensive support to the National Geographic film series The Long Road Home, supposedly to ensure it depicted the real-life battle of Sadr City in a 'reasonably realistic' way. But Army emails that I obtained under FOIA show they were more concerned with the fact that a...
Spy Culture - 2019-02-16 - Original post - cached version

I recently joined Henri of Fortress on a Hill to discuss the National Geographic drama series The Long Road Home,...

Spy Culture - 2019-02-10 - Original post - cached version

In this month’s subscriber-only podcast I explore several DOD-supported films and the files on them from the Lawrence Suid archive. ...

Spy Culture - 2019-02-04 - Original post - cached version

The Department of Defense’s entertainment liaison office file on the 1996 thriller Executive Decision was, for many years, secreted in...

Spy Culture - 2019-02-03 - Original post - cached version

The 1996 action thriller Executive Decision was an early example of what should be called ‘irregular war films’, pitting a...

Spy Culture - 2019-01-23 - Original post - cached version

The DOD claim that they only rewrite Hollywood scripts in order to ensure accuracy and to inform the public about...

Spy Culture - 2019-01-20 - Original post - cached version

I recently found out that Strub retired from his job as the DOD’s Hollywood liaison last July, though this wasn’t...

Spy Culture - 2019-01-16 - Original post - cached version

The National Geographic drama series The Long Road Home tells a version of the story of the battle for Sadr...

Spy Culture - 2019-01-09 - Original post - cached version

The Pentagon’s censorship of movie scripts is fairly well established – I have documented numerous instances on this site.  But...

Spy Culture - 2019-01-03 - Original post - cached version
A few months ago, then DOD Hollywood liaison Phil Strub gave an interview in which he described the work of the entertainment liaison offices. A document recently released by the US Navy proves that many of Strub's statements simply aren't true, and that the Pentagon are much more aggressive and...
Spy Culture - 2018-12-14 - Original post - cached version
In our latest article, Matt and I reflect on two of the most common claims made about National Security Cinema, namely 1) That the government is really important in making movies more militaristic and 2) That Hollywood doesn’t produce dissenting films. While the first of these is somewhat true it...
Spy Culture - 2018-12-11 - Original post - cached version
Chris and Danny from Fortress on a Hill invited me onto their podcast to discuss militarism in Hollywood, the DOD's role in altering scripts, how recruitment propaganda works in the UK, the military vs intelligence approaches to counterinsurgency and other related topics.

(Read more...)...

Spy Culture - 2018-12-11 - Original post - cached version
In July the Pentagon's Hollywood liaison Philip Strub retired after 29 years in the job. Mysteriously, this was not reported by any media outlet, small or large, mainstream or independent. Despite having influenced literally thousands of movies, TV shows, documentaries and video games in the...
Spy Culture - 2018-12-09 - Original post - cached version
Nazis make the perfect Hollywood villains – instantly recognisable, obviously deplorable and easy to recreate. So why were there no anti-Nazi films until 1939, on the eve of World War 2? This week I explore the history of Nazis in Hollywood in the 1930s, how the German government influenced...
Spy Culture - 2018-11-11 - Original post - cached version
Hollywood doesn’t make war films any more. This isn’t entirely true, but compared to the post-WW2 period there are a lot less war films being made today. In this in-depth episode I offer a brief history of war movies and anti-war movies, and how the Pentagon’s policy on supporting films depicting...
Spy Culture - 2018-10-30 - Original post - cached version
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. The Navy responded saying they found over 20,000 pages of potentially responsive...
Spy Culture - 2018-10-25 - Original post - cached version
12 Strong, based on the book Horse Soldiers by Doug Stanton, is set in the early days of the US war in Afghanistan. Emails released by the US Army detail the support they and the Air Force provided to the production as well as their communications with the producers. During shooting, one of the...
Spy Culture - 2018-10-22 - Original post - cached version
Joanne invited me on the Around the Empire podcast to do a ‘high level compare and contrast’ of two war comedy films set in different wars in Afghanistan: Charlie Wilson’s War and War Machine. The films are similar in many respects – both comedies, both have A-list lead actors, both set in wars...
Spy Culture - 2018-10-20 - Original post - cached version
Joanne invited me on the Around the Empire podcast to do a 'high level compare and contrast' of two war comedy films set in different wars in Afghanistan: Charlie Wilson's War and War Machine. The films are similar in many respects - both comedies, both have A-list lead actors, both set in wars...

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