FILM: The Spook Who Sat By The Door! Runtime: 102 minutes SPEAKER: Dr. Melvin Peoples, Associate Professor of BOOK SALES: The Spook Who Sat By The Door! CONVERSATION TOPIC: Revolutionary Fantasy or Historical Fact The Spook Who Sat by the Door is a 1973 film based on the riveting 1969 novel of the same name by author, Sam Greenlee, 1930-2014. It is both a powerful story of the late 1960s Black Liberation Movement in the United States, with a particular focus on Black militancy. Synopsis: Dan Freeman is enlisted in the CIA's elite espionage program as its “token Black.” After mastering agency tactics, however, he leaves the agency to train young unemployed African descendants in Chicago as "Freedom Fighters.” This is a loose autobiographical story of one Black man's strategic rebuttal to white supremacy, exposing its inherent stupidity and hypocrisy. The novel and film also dramatize the CIA's training persons who later utilize their specialized intelligence training against the agency and or its objectives - a process known as "blowback." Directed by Ivan Dixon, co-produced by Dixon and Greenlee, from a screenplay written by Greenlee with Mel Clay, the film starred Lawrence Cook, Paula Kelly, Janet League, J. A. Preston, and David Lemieux. Herbie Hancock composed the soundtrack. Most of the film was shot in Gary, Indiana, because Chicago's then-mayor, Richard J. Daley, refused to issue a permit. In 2012, The Spook Who Sat By The Door was added to the National Film Registry, which annually chooses twenty-five (25) films that are at least ten (10) years old and "culturally, historically or aesthetically significant.” This film is a classic in all dimensions.
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