Hollywood and the Pentagon

Some of your favorite movies were probably made with help from the Department of Defense. Now we know which ones.

A formation of U.S. Navy Grumman F-14A Tomcats of Fighter Squadron 51 (VF-51) "Screaming Eagles" and VF-111 "Sundowners", and Northrop F-5E/F Tiger IIs of the Navy Fighter Weapons School. These units represented a vital part of the U.S. Navy's participation in the 1986 feature-film "Top Gun", providing the aerial dogfighting sequences that were a defining trademark of this movie. Note the fictitious markings on the tail of at least one of the F-14s. (LCdr. David Baranak, U.S. Navy / National Archives and Records Administration)

Phil Strub was no ordinary pencil pusher at the Department of Defense. A graduate of both the Navy’s Officer Candidate School and University of Southern California’s legendary film program, Strub had one job from 1988 until his retirement in 2018: Hollywood’s helping hand at the Pentagon. As Strub once put it: “The relationship between Hollywood […]

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