Since the 80's, and the success of Top Gun, Hollywood has increased its production of big budget war movies, using military bases, submarines and aircraft carriers that the armed forces have generously made available to the studios. In exchange, the Pentagon's experts vet hundreds of screenplays each year.
Using lots of movie clips, "Operation Hollywood" explores this cozy relationship between Hollywood filmmakers and the U.S. government, and questions the wisdom of letting the Pentagon use movies to promote the U.S. army's image.
"Operation Hollywood: How the Pentagon shapes and censors the movies" by David L. Robb, a former journalist for Daily Variety and the Hollywood Reporter, is a timely work. Published in 2004, a year after the U.S. led occupation of Iraq, it exposes one of the dark secrets of American movies' military interference in film production and Hollywood's acquiescence to it. Robb notes that the collaboration between the military and movie-makers works because the Pentagon has what Hollywood filmmakers want - access to billions of dollars worth of military equipment. And Hollywood has what the Pentagon wants - millions of potential recruits.