martes, 16 de julio de 2013


(complete thesis)

"Strange Bedfellows: Cooperation between Hollywood and the Pentagon 
Olga Zhakova

A Thesis 
Presented to the Graduate and Research Committee 
of Lehigh University 
in Candidacy for the Degree of 
Master of Arts 
American Studies 
Lehigh University 
July 15, 2011

Abstract 1 
Introduction 2 
Chapter One 5 
Chapter Two 16 
Chapter Three 46 
Conclusion 65 
Works Cited 67 
Vita 77 


(pages 12-13)

Another important provision of DODINST 5410.16 is that “[t]he production company shall reimburse the Government for any additional expenses incurred as a result of assistance rendered.” (9) This means that DoD assistance to motion pictures should not impact the nation’s taxpayers. This is one of the most controversial issues about the DoD involvement in moviemaking. Throughout the history of the relationship, the public has questioned the costs of the DoD public relations activity for the taxpayers. Thus, in the Q&A session with the Navy representative for The Hunt for Red October (1990), a film about a nuclear submarine, a question about the cost of the DoD support was asked. The Navy representative answered that according to DoD policy film production companies are charged “the actual costs of consumables (primarily fuel and lubricants but includes some incremental maintenance costs for components that are replaced on a hours-inservice basis) used to directly support filming.” The filmmakers do not pay for personnel because they are in service at the time of filming.

The same issue was raised during the making of The Green Berets (1968). One of the U.S. Senators was wondering how much the filmmakers actually paid for the film. The answer was the same: filmmakers pay for consumables and for the dislocation of the equipment. However the Senator was not satisfied, and he wanted to know if the life cycle costs for equipment are charged. This question was answered later, in the Q&A session for The Hunt for Red October: “Life cycle costs for equipment are not charged, per DoD policy, in recognition of the recruiting and informational benefits accrued from our support of these projects.” (10) Another controversial fact is that films such as The Hunt for Red October and Flight of the Intruder, which received full Navy cooperation, cost
more than $1 million for the Department of the Navy. Thus, although it is stated in the DODINST 5410.16 that supporting the films comes at no cost to the taxpayers, this provision is often violated.

Although the relationship between the two industries has never been a secret, there are just a few books written on the subject. In 1970 Senator J. W. Fulbright published The Pentagon Propaganda Machine (11) dedicating one chapter to the influence of the DoD on Hollywood motion pictures. Senator Fulbright considered such influence to be dangerous for the American public and to resemble censorship."

"(9) Department of Defense Instruction Number 5410.16. 26 Jan. 1988. Print. Paragraph 3.3.
(10) Finkelstein, J. B. Memo for Philip M. Strub. 3 Nov. 1989. Print.
(11) Fulbright, James W. The Pentagon Propaganda Machine. New York, New York: Liveright, 1970. Print. Pp. 103-126.”

(pages 65-66)


For almost a century the Department of Defense has been assisting Hollywood in making war films. The DoD provides producers with military equipment, bases, and personnel at a significantly low cost, and in return the DoD gets the right to change the scripts. During the negotiations between the DoD and the producers regarding the script, filmmakers aim to obtain DoD consent while trying to prevent significant changes to the script. The DoD, in turn, tries to observe the DODINST 5410.16 provision and ensure a 
positive image of the military in the film. 

According to the main provision followed by the DoD in their decision on approval/denial of the script, there are two main conditions under which the DoD support should be provided: a film has to be beneficial for the Department of Defense or be in the best national interest. These two conditions are based on the consideration of four requirements. First, a film has to be accurate and feasible in portraying the armed forces. Second, a film has to have informational value to the public. Third, a film has to enhance the U.S. Armed Forces recruiting and retention programs. Fourth, a film should not appear to endorse activities that are contrary to U.S. policy. While these four criteria are referred to in DoD decisions on approving/denying projects, the study of the internal correspondence on numerous films shows that the changes that the DoD request fall under three categories: accuracy (both historical and technical,) behavior of individual serviceman, and overall image of the military. Changes based on accuracy rarely prevent the DoD from providing their support, as these changes are easy to incorporate into the script, and they do not usually affect the storyline. Changes on behavior of individual serviceman might require modification of some characters and their actions. Producers usually tend to incorporate these changes as well. It is the third factor, however, of overall military image, that most causes both rejection of the film by the DoD and refusal of film producers to accept changes. This factor is the most important for the DoD in their decision for approving/denying a project. A film can be historically and technically accurate and still will not be supported because of the negative military image. The overall message of the film does not affect the DoD decision on support nearly as much as the overall image of the military. Thus, a film can be anti-war in its overall message and might still get DoD support if it shows the positive overall image of the military. 

The film Clear and Present Danger represents a valuable case study because the extensive negotiations between the DoD and film producers and changes made to the original script allow one to examine how the DoD makes their decision on supporting/rejecting a project and what affects this decision. Studying the considerable internal DoD correspondence on this film shows that while technical accuracy was important to the DoD it was the overall image of the military that they were most of all concerned with. The main change that was required by the DoD was the improvement of the military image. Despite the film negatively portraying the White House and criticizing the establishment, the military was shown as professionally carrying out a mission that they believed was in the U.S. national interest. 

Thus, the studying of numerous correspondences shows that in providing support to films the DoD is conveying the positive image of the military that is meant to educate the public on the U.S. armed forces and enhance recruitment. Whether this is censorship or mutual exploitation, it is important for film audiences to be aware of the relationship between Hollywood and the Pentagon." 

Olga Zhakova was born in St. Petersburg, Russia. After graduating from St. Petersburg High School Number 80 she was accepted to the St. Petersburg State University, School of International Relations, North-American Studies program. In 2008 she graduated from the St. Petersburg State University and upon graduation she was awarded with one semester program at University of Miami, FL. In 2009 she entered Lehigh University American Studies program as a Fulbright scholar. While studying at Lehigh University Olga concentrated on studying U.S. media and documentary film."

The prestigious Academy Film Scholars Program supports the creation of innovative and significant works of film scholarship.
Scholars have received support for a wide range of research topics from works about individuals who have had an impact on the movie industry, such as Lois Weber and Saul Bass, to broader film related subjects such as the history of motion picture color and Hollywood's copyright wars.

1 comentario:

Anónimo dijo...

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