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Mon Oct 1, 2012, 11:27 AM

Mother Jones' Operation Hollywood cont...


There was a movie called “Air Strike” by a guy named Cy Roth. Now, Ed Wood is often credited as being the worst director in Hollywood history, but Cy Roth would really give him a run for his money. Roth decided around 1953 that he’d made a Western, he’d made a space movie, now he wanted to make a war movie. This movie was set on a World War II aircraft carrier, and the lead characters were a young Jewish flyer and a young black flyer who are constantly being subjected to anti-Semitism and racism on the ship.

The military said, “No, we don’t want to show any kind of racism or anti-Semitism in this picture, you’ve got to change that.” They also said, “We don’t want a World War II-era picture, we want a movie set in the modern jet age.” And Roth went nuts. He called his congressman, he wrote a letter to President Eisenhower -- and the day after the White House got his letter of complaint, they sicced the FBI on him to see whether he was a Communist or not. Well, he finally caved in; he made the picture the way they wanted. So it was no blacks, no Jews, no propellers. If you look at this film, it’s so bad, it looks like a home movie shot on an aircraft carrier. So this film was completely changed...

http://m.motherjones.com/politics/2004/09/operation-hollywood

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