A new book due out at the end of the month—read an exclusive excerpt in Tablet Magazine here—reports that Arnon Milchan, an Israeli arms dealer and top Hollywood producer, was at least through the mid-‘80s additionally an operative for Israel’s top-secret Lakam organization. His objective, for which he was recruited by current Israeli president Shimon Peres, was to establish overseas front companies and bank accounts that would enable an Israeli prime minister, according to his biographers, “to execute decisions beyond Israel’s borders without the need for the formal budgeting, cabinet approvals, petty internal politics, or leaks to the press that might endanger the operation.”
Though Milchan initially cooperated, he ultimately declined to authorize the book, so we don’t know for sure whether he still has any involvement with the world of Israeli espionage. He has, however, left quite a paper trail on IMDB. What might he have learned from the specific movies he worked on?
The King of Comedy: Appreciation for the comedic genius named Jerry Lewis.
Brazil (which Milchan was working on when his involvement with Lakam first was compromised): I wish I could remember what actually happened in this movie and could tell you what Milchan may have learned from it.
JFK: Keeping a conspiracy under wraps.
Free Willy: How a covert plan like saving an orca can be executed with the help of an optimistic young boy and Michael Jackson soundtrack.
Natural Born Killers: He already knew everything this movie could have taught him.
Empire Records: The Gin Blossoms’ enduring awesomeness.
The Mirror Has Two Faces: How helpful an asset Barbra Streisand can be for a covert Israeli operative in the field.
L.A. Confidential: Really, we are only now realizing this guy was up to something?
Free Willy 3: The Rescue: How to keep milking a good thing.
The Devil’s Advocate: Tips for serving [insert your least favorite Israeli ambassador of the past 40 years].
Fight Club: The first rule of Fight Club.
Mr. and Mrs. Smith: This was his echt-marriage counseling.
The Player [Tablet Magazine]
New Book Recounts Tale of Israeli Agent at Home in Hollywood [NYT]