Soviet sympathizers attempted unsuccessfully to disrupt location shooting in Ottawa, where Fox captured exteriors during a cold Canadian winter.
Pickets also turned up at the Roxy Theatre in New York to protest the film’s preview. Soviet sympathizers, liberals, conservatives and members of the Catholic War Veterans mobbed the streets until dispersed by the police.
In truth, there was no preview for them to protest. The Roxy had canceled it six weeks earlier, but word had not reached any of the concerned parties.
Oddly, one of the most controversial aspects of the film was its score. At one point, an official at the embassy explains that loud music is played in the decoding room to prevent people from eavesdropping on their work. Composer Alfred Newman, the head of the 20th Century-Fox music department, pulled that music from the works of Dmitri Shostakovich, Sergei Prokofiev, Aram Khachaturyan and Dominik Miskovsky, all of whom had been censured by the Soviet government for “formalism,” the charge leveled at artists whose work was not seen as supporting the Soviet state.
Although they could not have seen the film, the four signed a letter complaining that their music had been stolen for what they called an “outrageous picture.” Historians have theorized that the Stalinist government forced them to sign the letter.
“After 36 years of secrecy, Igor Gouzenko’s testimony before the Kellock-Taschereau Royal Commission of 1946 is made public. The testimony fills 6,000 pages and reveals details of a spy network operating in Canada.
But a new NFB-CBC documentary compares the handling of the Gouzenko affair by the RCMP and the Mackenzie King government to a comic opera, full of bungling, mistakes and misunderstanding:”