Operation Hollywood: How the Pentagon Shapes and Censors the Movies

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Prometheus Books, 2004 - Performing Arts - 384 pages
4 Reviews
The only thing Hollywood likes more than a good movie is a good deal. For more than fifty years producers and directors of war and action movies have been getting a great deal from Americaís armed forces by receiving access to billions of dollars worth of military equipment and personnel for little or no cost. Although this arrangement considerably lowers a filmís budget, the cost in terms of intellectual freedom can be quite steep. In exchange for access to sophisticated military hardware and expertise, filmmakers must agree to censorship from the Pentagon.

As veteran Hollywood journalist David L. Robb shows in this revealing insiderís look into Hollywoodís "dirtiest little secret," the final product that moviegoers see at the theater is often not just what the director intends but also what the powers-that-be in the military want to project about Americaís armed forces. Sometimes the censor demands removal of just a few words; other times whole scenes must be scrapped or completely revised. What happens if a director refuses the requested changes? Robb quotes a Pentagon spokesman: "Well Iím taking my toys and Iím going home. Iím taking my tanks and my troops and my location, and Iím going home." That can be quite a persuasive threat to a filmmaker trying to keep his movie within budget.

Robb takes us behind the scenes during the making of many well-known movies. From The Right Stuff to Top Gun and even Lassie, the list of movies in which the Pentagon got its way is very long. Only when a director is determined to spend more money than necessary to make his own movie without interference, as in the case of Oliver Stone in the creation of Platoon or Francis Ford Coppola in Apocalypse Now, is a film released that presents the directorís unalloyed vision.

For anyone who loves movies and cares about freedom of expression, Operation Hollywood is an engrossing, shocking, and very entertaining book.

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Review: Operation Hollywood: How the Pentagon Shapes and Censors the Movies

User Review  - John - Goodreads

Operation Hollywood: How the Pentagon Shapes and Censors the Movies by David L. Robb Prometheus, 384 pages, hardback, 2004 This is an important book, and thoroughly to be recommended. It is also ... Read full review

Review: Operation Hollywood: How the Pentagon Shapes and Censors the Movies

User Review  - Varin - Goodreads

They say that if you like eating sausage and respect the law, you should not watch either one being made. I figure that applies to movies and tv shows too. The military does not give its assistance to ... Read full review

Contents

Foreword
13
Acknowledgments
23
Censoring James Bond
29
Copyright

34 other sections not shown

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About the author (2004)

David Robb (Beverly Hills, CA), an award-winning freelance journalist who has been nominated for the Pulitzer Prize three times, has published articles in the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Daily News, The Nation, LA Weekly, Salon.com, and Brill's Content. For many years he was a labor and legal reporter for The Hollywood Reporter and Daily Variety.

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