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Saddam Hussein’s ambitious Hollywood project

Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein tried to launch a big movie project similar to Hollywood films before the 1980s Iraq-Iran war.

The epic movie for which he spent millions of dollars was billed in 1980 as a project to celebrate Iraq’s entry into the world of filmmaking with international stars.

Saddam Hussein’s blockbuster ‘Clash of Loyalties’, filmed almost entirely in Iraq and starred some of Britain's leading actors such as liver Reed, Helen Ryan and James Bolam

When the shooting stage started, it was interrupted very soon as war erupted between Iraq and Iran. While the cast was able to shoot for the film, the film's Iraqi-born British producer Lateif Jorephani only had the chance to edit the scenes in London.

Jorephani said the flick was the first of a long list of movies with international standards that  the former Iraqi dictator proposed to be made by Iraq’s film industry, adding, the title is themed on “British occupation in Iraq.”

He was told by a middleman in this project that money was no object for Saddam and Jorephani was given a free hand to hire the best actors.

The flick was never distributed in the western theaters, but the extraordinary story of the production has been turned into a doc titled ‘Saddam Goes to Hollywood’ narrating how the tyrant was hoping to create a film industry to rival Hollywood.

AG/AG

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