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  1. #1
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    Hi, I'm doing research into films with interesting stories behind their filming - e.g. the number of coincidences of similarities between the film The Manchurian Candidate and the assasination of JFK; or Francis Ford Coppola's spiral into insanity in the making of Apocalypse Now. Any interesting story / coincidence / or conspiracy would interest me. Specifically i'm looking for events based around films that would be considered 'cultural milestones' and that were made between '69 and '99 - Anyone know of any good ones?!

  2. #2
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    </div><div class='quotemain'>david::

    Hi, I'm doing research into films with interesting stories behind their filming - e.g. the number of coincidences of similarities between the film The Manchurian Candidate and the assasination of JFK; or Francis Ford Coppola's spiral into insanity in the making of Apocalypse Now. Any interesting story / coincidence / or conspiracy would interest me. Specifically i'm looking for events based around films that would be considered 'cultural milestones' and that were made between '69 and '99 - Anyone know of any good ones?! [/b]
    David,



    I can't say about the UK studios, but Hollywood has made some rather poor conspiracy movies or documentaries and they are usually anti-conservative, which is ridiculous. For instance, I know Michael Moore is popular in parts of Europe, especially in Germany, but he is completely fallacious and a nasty ranter.



    You are correct about some correlations with "Manchurian Candidate", but it is a bit of a smoke screen too. According to Eleanor Coppola's documentary "Apocalpse Now/Hearts of Darkness", Francis actually did suffer temporary madness - but consider what it was all about.



    To keep it in a British context, I have heard that some are drawing correlations between "House of Cards", in which the Prince of Wales is killed in a car accident and Princess Diana, but I know no more than that.



    Back in the early 80s, there was "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy", by John LeCarre, which had a mole and drew on the Kim Philby affair, but that was a bit after the fact.



    Also, another Cold War conspiracy type of film was "Whistle Blower" in which Nigel Havers, who plays Michael Caine's cynical son and government employee, is killed in a mystery, but I do not know a correlation to that.



    The idea of conspiracy is a real one in the English speaking world, although chided now as mere paranoia, but had reality when national identity and protection of the people was sacrosanct (e.g. the Gunpowder Plot). The reason Jesuits were disdained and were illegal in both the UK and the US, at one time, was because they actually did attempt to undermine the national religion and government (the closest one to that is "Lady Jane" with Helena Bonham Carter).



    Now, it is probably Muslim conspiracy, but that's too hot a subject for the movie people. So you probably don't have a film there.



    In the US, there are now writings coming out on Soviet documents from Russia about Soviet intrigue in the US called Venona, but that is a US thing and I know of no movies on that, although Michael Apted's "Gorky Park" was close to that, but in the end the bad guy was a renegade American not a Soviet official. BTW, movies like "American Beauty" are social propaganda movies. New social propaganda movies would make an interesting subject, but I'm afraid many film teachers wouldn't approve.



    Also intersting, in Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones, Ian McDiarmid's character plays a real nasty part that plays into conspiracy ideas, but I won't give away the plot.



    These days English speaking culture is primed to be internationalist and so the focus is on international or multi-cultural stories. But, because positive national identity is frowned upon, it really doesn't allow for conspiracy type pictures, unless it is anti-conservative, which is really bizarre, because that is, in essence, someone trying to undermine themself. Down the road, I'm sure you will see international type Illuminati stories. One such group that still holds the imagination of the conspiracy theory folks is the Bilderbergers, who are supposed to be the ace face money people who call all the shots in international economy, etc. FYI - I looked into that for research on a short story and found that actually both grassroots radical and grassroots conservative politicos find the Bilderbergers, World Bank and IMF, the people behind current conspiracies. Could be something to that, but no movie correlations that I can think of - no one would get international distribution rights.



    One movie that is supposed to be based on a true conspiracy is a well done picture called "The Odessa File" in 1974 (within your timeframe). It is about a nasty Nazi organization that helped Nassar build rockets against Israel in the early 60s. It was just on TV (see Jan. 12 week listings on Forum). Jon Voight perhaps at his best. One of the screenwriters was George Markstein, who was also a writer for Danger Man and The Prisoner. It is a story based on the novel by Frederick Forsyth.



    Best wishes on your project,

    Gibbie

  3. #3
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    David,



    There have in all probability been a number of bad conspiracy movies made in the U.S, mainly in the 70’s post Watergate era. I have to admit to not having seen that many bad ones. There are however a number of high quality movies such as the late Alan J. Pakula’s ‘All the Presidents Men’, and ‘The Paralax View’. There are of course a great number of films surrounding the Kennedy assassination. You may care to take a look at Willian Richert's ‘Winter Kills’ starring Jeff Bridges and John Houston, a film from the author of ‘The Manchurian Candidate’ and loosely based on the Kennedy assassination. Brian De Palma’s ‘Blow UP’ again based loosely on the Kennedy assassination and of course Oliver Stones ‘JFK’ a comedy account of the events in November 1963.



    To the conspiracy list you can add Peter Hymes’ ‘Capricorn One’; fake mission to Mars, Richard Donnor’s ‘Conspiracy Theory’ which presupposes, with tongue firmly in cheek, that just about everything in recent US and world history was a government conspiracy, and the recent ‘Arlington Road’ loosely based on events surrounding the Oklahoma bombing and very ‘Paralax View’ in outlook. Also Adrian Lynn’s ‘Jacobs Ladder’ about psychological warfare experiments during the Vietnam War. You could argue that in a post Watergate, post modern, post cold war era a great many U.S. movies, of all types, have conspiracy theory, anti-establishment elements.



    From the British end there is the excellent ‘ In Defence of the Realm’ starring Gabriel Byrne concerning a British government cover-up. You may also look at Ken Loach’s ‘Hidden Agenda’ about British army collusion with UDF and UVF terrorists in Northern Ireland in the 1980’s. Added to this you have of course any number of John le Carrie adaptations (such as ‘The Deadly Affair, 'The Spy Who Came In From The Cold' and 'The Russia House') most of which revolve around government conspiracy and intrigue, although most were made after your stated time period. There are probably many, many more, but this is not really my subject.



    All the above of course were made after the event. One exception being the Frank Sinatra film ‘Suddenly’, a film I think Sinatra directed as well as starred. The film made in 1962 or 63 concerned the assassination of an unnamed America president and was withdrawn during release by Sinatra following the real life assassination of his friend President Kennedy. the moie was finally released only a few years ago.



    You may of course be aware that the director of 'The Manchurian Candidate', the late John Frankenheimer was a close friend of the Kennedy’s and in fact drove Robert Kennedy to the Ambassador hotel in Los Angles on the day he was killed. The story becomes even stranger when Frankenheimer (who was supposed to be standing beside RFK on the podium, but had decided to wait outside in the car) turned on the radio to hear the announcement that Robert Kennedy had been shot. The radio announcer added that Hollywood director John Frankenheimer had also been shot.



    In reference to the above reply above; I’ll look forward to the Illuminati films, although you won’t mind if I don’t hold my breath. The Bilderbergers, give me a break. I am assuming that you have an interest in British film making and that ranting is just a hobby for you?



    Good luck with your project.



    C



    [ 21. January 2004, 17:54: Message edited by: webmaster ]

  4. #4
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    Stop throwing rocks - You have it wrong!



    Those were insights for David's research paper.



    Gibbie



    [ 21. January 2004, 16:25: Message edited by: webmaster ]

  5. #5
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    MAROONED was on general release in the UK in 1970 when the real life drama of Apollo 13 was being played out overhead.



    DEFENCE OF THE REALM (1985)is an interesting conspiracy theory based on known facts: that a prominent MP had KGB links and a near nuclear disaster at a USAF airbase in England.

  6. #6
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    </div><div class='quotemain'>dylan:

    </div><div class='quotemain'>Carterh:

    David,



    All the above of course were made after the event. One exception being the Frank Sinatra film ‘Suddenly’, a film I think Sinatra directed as well as starred. The film made in 1962 or 63 concerned the assassination of an unnamed America president and was withdrawn during release by Sinatra following the real life assassination of his friend President Kennedy. the moie was finally released only a few years ago.



    C [/b]
    [/b]
    Sorry, I pressed the wrong button.



    SUDDENLY was directed in 1954 by Lewis Allen. Sinatra played an hired assassin who takes over a household on the route of the President's motorcade. Closer to Dallas than THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE but it too was temporary pulled by Ol' Blue Eyes but is now widely available on DVD.

  7. #7
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    You may also want to try Stephen Polliaknov's (spelling) 'Hidden City'. The film concerns a British goverment cover-up of military medical experiments and offers some nice atmospheric London locations. No idea wither its based on fact or not.



    Good luck again



    C

  8. #8
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    </div><div class='quotemain'>Gibbie:

    Stop throwing rocks - You have it wrong!



    Those were insights for David's research paper.



    Gibbie [/b]

  9. #9
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    P.S. It was a joke Gibbie. Glasgow humour.



    C

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