Vice on the CIA in Hollywood

Jason Leopold has the story:

The CIA’s involvement in the production of Zero Dark Thirty (effectively exchanging “insider” access for a two-hour-long torture commercial) has already been well-established, but the agency’s role in the production of Argo—which won the Best Picture Oscar for 2012—was heretofore unknown.

Source: CIA’s Work With Filmmakers Puts All Media Workers at Risk — FAIR


  1. John Rosselli was a Hollywood film producer for awhile and I always wondered what movies he made. I think there were some shennagans behind the film How Hollywood Makes Movies that Jack Ruby was involved in at the Dallas State Fairgrounds.

  2. Brian Joseph says:

    At times they may even fund movies with no intention of having the movie made.

    Google: Marina Oswald Tex-Italia Films

    • Tom S. says:

      Brian, unfortunately you cannot reasonably make that judgment of intent, based on the underinformed accounts of researchers who have written books and posted about this on internet and newsgroup discussions. The capacity and connections to actually produce such a film seem to have in fact, existed. Not enough research into those named in the investigation was actually done, so you are making an assumption based on arguments that impressed you but did not include these details.:
      Wesley “Dub” Blankenship
      Published: Thursday, September 29, 2005
      Wesley Benson Blankenship was born Nov. 8, 1924 to Wallace and Rose Blankenship in Ropesville. He grew up in Ropesville and Levelland. Dub graduated from Texas Technological College in 1947 with a degree in electrical engineering. Dub was an accomplished businessman and investor. After graduating from Texas Tech, he joined the family business, Wallace Theatres, Inc., which was started by his parents. At its height, Wallace Theatres owned and operated 26 movie theatres across the South Plains. The family traded about three dozen mules for 35 acres of land near the current intersection of 4th St. and University Ave. in Lubbock. Dub lead the development and building of the Town and Country Shopping Center at that site in 1954. It was one of the first and largest neighborhood shopping centers in the South Plains and remained family owned until 1988. Dub was also active in the movie business in Hollywood and Mexico. In addition he was active in the oil business and banking. Dub married Maxine Wiese (Texas Tech, 1946) in Petersburg Sept. 1, 1944. Maxine preceded him in death in 2001. Dub and Maxine were avid art collectors and world travelers. Dub had a lifelong interest in photography, and some of his photographs taken on an African safari were exhibited at the West Texas Museum.

      Blankenship Family: An Inventory of its Records, 1862-2004 …
      University of Texas at Austin
      Son Wallace Blankenship developed the Wallace Theatre chain. … business in Hollywood and Mexico as well as contributing to the Wallace Theatre business.
      Charles Lasater is an actor and producer, known for Mission to Death (1966)
      The Galveston Daily News from Galveston, Texas · Page 22
      Apr 28, 1983 – According to co-producers Charles and Sally Lasater, the show is going … American Horse and Horseman series, contact Tejano Productions, …
      Résumé of Kenan Doyle Branam 8/19/2011
      …..Page 5
      1975 Lasater Productions, Houston, Texas
      1976 Mr. Charles Lasater Producer
      Position: Program Manager/Editor
      Responsibilities included video production management, budgeting,
      scheduling, hiring, and post production supervision.
      Program: The American Horse & Horseman Show A 15 hour special
      interest program syndicated in 66 cities in the U.S. starring Dale
      Burney Chapman and the Heart Bar Shoe (1983)
      ….This one and a half hour long program was filmed by Charles and Sally Lasater of Tejano Productions in 1983 in Houston, Texas. It includes the complete lecture and shoeing demonstration by Burney Chapman before the members of the American Farriers convention in Houston during that year….
      VS …. continued

      • Tom S. says:

        ….continued from last post, reply to Brian, texitalia – Marina Oswald film project
        Philip Shenon’s A Cruel and Shocking Act
        By James DiEugenio
        Posted December 4, 2013
        A week after her initial appearance before the Commission-where she now changed her story about Mexico City and several other matters-Marina signed a contract with a film company called Tex-Italia Films. The grand total of funds transferred to her was $132, 500. Which today would amount to about a half million dollars. (John Armstrong, Harvey and Lee, p. 977) What makes this transaction so intriguing is that when the company partners were investigated, it was discovered that they used false names. Further, the company’s business offices were asked to leave the lot they were located on for failure to pay their rent. Finally, there was no film made by Tex-Italia about Marina or her dead husband. (ibid) ….

        DiEugenio promotes, repeats, and defends many “findings” of John Armstrong, but it does not appear he actually fact checks them.:
        In Harvey & Lee, John Armstrong writes:
        “….Shortly after signing the contract with Marina, Tex-Italia films was asked to leave Samuel Goldwyn Studios for failure to pay rent on their small office. On April 24, 1964 SA Leslie Warren completed an investigation into Tex-Italia films and wrote, “Indices of the Los Angeles office reflect no other pertinent information that could be indentified with the names Charles Lasater, George V. Douglas, or Wesley B. Blankenship. In otherwords, these men were probably not using their real names and monies paid to Marina by the unknown Tex-India films company came from unknown sources. (Italics Armstrong’s)”

  3. The CIA has a special film production unit.

    In the late 1970s David Atlee Phillips and Gordon McLendon pitched the idea to CBS to produce a TV show on the CIA similar to The Untouchables and FBI TV shows that would put the CIA in a good light.

    As I suggested at the time one script could deal with how both Phillips and McLendon became entwined in the assassination of President Kennedy.

    • Bill Pierce says:

      William Kelly writes:
      ” . . . how both Phillips and McLendon became entwined in the assassination of President Kennedy.”

      Do you mean the Old Scotsman, the guy who produced and “acted” in this epic stink bomb featuring mangy coonhounds all dressed up to look (nothing) like giant killer shrews? Hint: McLendon is the scientist wearing glasses in the opening scene of this trailer.

      Warning: make sure your life insurance is paid up. The terrifying special effects might scare you to death!

  4. John Rowell says:

    Compare the treatment of those movies with what happened to this movie. I doubt “Kill the Messenger” is on that “redacted” list.

    For more information, here is the Wikipedia page.

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