The President’s Analyst

The President’s Analyst is James Coburn, whose position makes him privy to any number of delicate national security secrets. Thus Coburn becomes a most desirable prize for several secret-agent organizations, including the CEA and the FBR (we know who these folks are really supposed to be, even though the phony names were crudely dubbed onto the soundtrack after the film was completed). When Coburn becomes expendable, he finds a pair of strong allies in the form of likeable political assassin Godfrey Cambridge and gay Soviet spy Severn Darden. The main plot involves an insidious, unnamed concern that wishes to harness Coburn’s talents in order to brainwash the president — and everyone else in America — into submission. The President’s Analyst is a terrific, on-target satire of virtually every sacred cow of the late 1960s, the satire was so potent, in fact, that when the NBC network broadcast the film in the early 1970s, it was compelled to remove the picture’s punchline.

Ted Flicker, wrote and directed this wonderful comedy titled “The President’s Analyst.” in 1967. It was a satire that included comic portrayals of FBI agents and J. Edgar Hoover. Mr. Hoover got wind of the project and started to lobby Paramount executives to change the script. This effort turned into a three-way war between Hoover, the studio and Flicker. Because Flicker would not make changes, he was taken off the picture. But late one night he and his editor went to the studio and put Ted’s directors cut back together. That is the version that got released to the theaters. The film was doing well until Hoover saw it. He went ballistic. He sent agents to visit the studio executives and threatened them. He demanded that the movie be removed from the theaters. After realizing how Hoover could hurt them they agreed and the picture disappeared. Then Ted Flicker was blacklisted and never again made a major Hollywood film. The film tells the story of Ted’s rise and fall and creative resurrection.

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8:50 am on July 27, 2021

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