Strange Bedfellows: Cooperation between Hollywood and the Pentagon

by Zhakova, Olga, M.A., LEHIGH UNIVERSITY, 2011, 81 pages; 1501097


For almost a century the U.S. military has been assisting Hollywood in making war films. The Department of Defense offers filmmakers military equipment and personnel for cheap, but in return the DoD gets the right to change the script. By studying extensive correspondence between the DoD and Hollywood filmmakers on several films (A Few Good Men, Apollo 13, Clear and Present Danger, Deep Impact, Flight of the Intruder, Forrest Gump, Hair, and The Hunt for Red October), this thesis examines what kind of changes are usually made to scripts by the DoD. A study of the internal correspondence shows that the script changes the DoD requests fall into three categories: accuracy (historical and technical), behavior of individual serviceman, and overall image of the military. While changes from the first two categories are usually easy to incorporate, it is the unsatisfactory overall image of the military that leads to DoD rejection.

AdviserEdward Gallagher
Source TypeThesis
SubjectsAmerican studies; Military studies
Publication Number1501097

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