In Secrecy's Shadow: The OSS and CIA in Hollywood Cinema 1941-1979

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Edinburgh University Press, Apr 26, 2016 - Performing Arts - 320 pages
During the Second World War hundreds of Hollywood filmmakers under the command of the legendary director John Ford enlisted in the OSS to produce training, reconnaissance and propaganda films. This wartime bond continued into the post-war period, when a number of studios produced films advocating the creation of a permanent peacetime successor to the OSS: what became the Central Intelligence Agency. By the 1960s however, Hollywood's increasingly irreverent attitude towards the CIA reflected a growing public anxiety about excessive US government secrecy. In Secrecy's Shadow provides the first comprehensive history of the birth and development of Hollywood's relationship with American intelligence. It takes an interdisciplinary approach, synthesizing literatures and methodologies from diplomatic history, film studies and cultural theory, and it presents new perspectives on a number of major filmmakers including Darryl F. Zanuck, Alfred Hitchcock and John Ford. Based on research conducted in over 20 archival repositories across the United States and UK, In Secrecy's Shadow explores the revolution in the relationship between Hollywood and the secret state, from unwavering trust and cooperation to extreme scepticism and paranoia, and demonstrates the debilitating effects of secrecy upon public trust in government and the stability of national memory.

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Select Filmography
Film and TV Index
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About the author (2016)

Simon Willmetts is a lecturer in American Studies at the University of Hull. His research falls broadly within the fields of film history, cultural theory and US foreign policy.

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