In this extraction from Press TV's The Real Deal, George Galloway interviews Matthew Alfred who is a film and TV lecturer at the University of Bristol. They discuss the role CIA and the US Defence Department in Hollywood. Mr. Alfred is currently making a new film, entitled, "The Writer With No Hands" about the disappearance, in the late 1990s, of 55-year old Hollywood screenwriter, Gary DeVore, who, along with being best man at Tommy Lee Jone's wedding, worked on major projects with stars such as Kurt Russell, Christopher Walken and Arnold Schwarzenegger.
As he drove through the small hours of the Californian night, Gary Devore insisted to his wife Wendy: “I’m pumping pure adrenaline.”
“This was not a normal phone call… I felt he was warning me,” Wendy later recalled. “I love you,” she had said, expectantly.
“See you later,” Gary mumbled. It was the last time Wendy Oates-Devore would ever speak to her husband, the 55-year-old Hollywood screenwriter who’d worked on major projects with stars such as Kurt Russell, Christopher Walken and Arnold Schwarzenegger. He had vanished. Swallowed, it seemed, by the desert highway.
Gary had been returning from actress friend Marsha Mason’s New Mexico residence where he had just finished a screenplay he’d told his wife would be the hardest-hitting piece of film Hollywood had ever seen. A year later, in the summer of 1998, his car was located by a police dive team in a shallow aqueduct following a tip-off from an ‘amateur sleuth’. Inside the vehicle, belted into the front seat and dressed in Gary’s cowboy clothing, sat a skeletal corpse.
The Californian Highway Patrol wrote a 158-page report declaring it an accident: case closed. And that was that… except for the fact that many of those who knew Gary Devore remain convinced that the official investigation was a whitewash, that Gary was murdered, and that the US government itself has been trying to wipe clean its fingerprints from the case.
Gary’s script, a remake of the 1949 heist movie The Big Steal, was to be an action thriller set against the backdrop of the 1989 United States invasion of Panama and the overthrow of its dictator, former CIA asset Manuel Noriega. It was to be Gary’s directorial debut and expectations were high. Gary was being assisted in his research by his old friend Charles ‘Chase’ Brandon, veteran CIA case officer, first cousin to Tommy Lee Jones; also the Agency’s new public face in Hollywood and – according to Gary’s publicist Michael Sands – “the real Jack Bauer”, referring to the fictional super-agent of the television show 24.
However, the screenplay was acutely critical of US foreign policy, presenting a picture of a country ravaged by the US military and in which US Army intelligence organises the theft of Noriega’s drug money. An early draft obtained by the authors gives its main characters lines like: “Shit, we’re really kicking the crap outta this little bitty country to get one man [Noriega]. It’s embarrassing.”, “Starting a war you can’t lose is good for morale.”, and “a little scrimmage to make the varsity look good”.