- The Washington Times - Friday, September 29, 2017

Tom Cruise’s latest movie had a shooting script that was apparently too political for producers due to a lascivious scene featuring former President Bill Clinton.

Universal Pictures rolled out “American Made” for North American audiences on Friday, but the tale of a CIA drug runner had to be pruned of a few political faces — and one lap — before it made it to the big screen. Sources close to the latest Doug Liman film told The Hollywood Reporter that the original title and a strip club scene were nixed to distance the project from Mr. Clinton.

“American Made, opening today, was poised to be the rare movie that could unite those on either side of the political divide. After all, it’s based on the one conspiracy theory that implicates both Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush in a massive operation that involved cocaine smuggling, money laundering and illegal arms exporting,” THR reported.

“But those hoping for some Clinton dirt will ultimately be disappointed,” the website continued. “The filmmakers decided to cut a scene showing a young Clinton getting a lap dance at an Arkansas strip club. In the script, it’s the moment when the movie’s real-life protagonist Barry Seal, played by Tom Cruise, hatches an idea to enlist Clinton, who was then governor of Arkansas, in the CIA-backed scheme.”

THR’s sources added that “American Made” was originally called “Mena” after an Arkansas airport that was used for smuggling guns and drugs to and from Latin America while Mr. Clinton was the state’s governor.

Another scene that was abandoned from writer Gary Spinelli’s script involved putting Mr. Cruise’s character in the same room as former president George H.W. Bush.

“George W. Bush does make a brief appearance in the film, where he’s portrayed by actor Connor Trinneer,” THR added.

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