“In the 1961 Lassie episode “Timmy and the Martians,” Lassie howls to alert Timmy of a plane crash. In the original episode, once the military has re-assembled the plane they discover that a faulty wing had caused a high-pitched vibration which Lassie had detected. When the producers requested military assistance, the Pentagon declined, on the basis that children should not be exposed to the idea that the military makes faulty equipment.
“Movies which garnered approval include Pearl Harbor, Top Gun and GoldenEye. Movies which had to due without include Forrest Gump, Platoon, Independence Day and Thin Red Line. Among the taboo subjects for the Pentagon: anything that will decrease recruiting, alcohol or drug use, aliens overpowering the military or any military personnel depicted in a negative light. Forrest Gump failed to procure funds for implying that the Army was staffed by “soldiers of limited intelligence” and for the scene in which Hanks moons the President. In the original GoldenEye script a Navy Admiral sells state secrets, the final version, it’s now a Frenchman.”
“It’s an open secret in Hollywood that before the MPAA reviews many movies, the Pentagon does. David Robb documents the practice in his book Operation Hollywood. Whenever movie producers want to use Pentagon equipment: helicopters, bases, submarines, etc. they send a request to the Pentagon, along with five copies of the script. The Pentagon replies with proposed changes to the script, which the producer must either accept, or forgo the equipment (which disinclines studios to finance the film, since it entails extra costs). Then, while the movie is shot, a “minder” hangs along, to ensure the director sticks to the script. Final approval comes from Pentagon brass who pre-screen and censor the film.”
What a species.