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30

MONDAY

When The List of Adrian Messenger came out, in 1963, viewers were told that big-name stars were in the movie in disguise. At the movie’s end, it was Robert Mitchum, Frank Sinatra, and Kirk Douglas (among others) who shed their makeup to everyone’s surprise—including the CIA’s. “Domestic contact people” were quickly sent to knock on the door of the film’s makeup designer. According to former CIA Chiefs of Disguise Tony and Jonna Mendez, Messenger was a turning point in the agency’s deception program. “What we were able to do,” says Tony, “was to use a Hollywood technique to create a real Mission: Impossible.” In fact, agents were assigned to watch that very series and ask, “Can we do that?” Often enough, they could. “We brought science to the art,” says Tony. For a soon-to-be-aired PBS program, Jonna fooled an FBI surveillance team into thinking she was an elderly man—without the aid of complicated cosmetics. Following a screening of Messenger, the couple will discuss the Hollywood-CIA connection and how to hide Burt Lancaster at 6:30 p.m. at the International Spy Museum, 800 F St. NW. $13. (202) 432-7328. (Dave Nuttycombe)