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Roger Birnbaum
Reel China: Hollywood tries to stay on China's good side
Reel China: Hollywood tries to stay on China's good side

China has become such an important market for U.S. entertainment companies that one studio has taken the extraordinary step of digitally altering a film to excise bad guys from the Communist nation lest the leadership in Beijing be offended. When MGM decided a few years ago to remake "Red Dawn," a 1984 Cold War drama about a bunch of American farm kids repelling a Soviet invasion, the studio needed new villains, since the U.S.S.R. had collapsed in 1991. The producers substituted Chinese aggressors for the Soviets and filmed the movie in Michigan in 2009. But potential distributors are nervous about becoming associated with the finished film, concerned that doing so would harm...

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