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Cruise vs. von Stauffenberg


In July 2007 United Artists released a set of pictures showing the resemblance between Tom Cruise (right) and Claus von Stauffenberg (middle), a German officer who had led an attempt to assassinate Hitler. Cruise was portraying von Stauffenberg in the forthcoming movie Valkyrie. But in June 2008 Slate magazine accused United Artists of having "tweaked" the image of von Stauffenberg in order to heighten his resemblance to Cruise.

Slate noted that a copy of the von Stauffenberg image it had acquired from the AP photo archive (left) looked noticeably different from the version supplied by United Artists. The "experts at Slate" (its own term) therefore concluded that United Artists had altered the photo.

In its defense, United Artists revealed that the source of its version of the photo was Getty Images. It was simply a case of different archives having versions of the same image of differing quality. Slate admitted it had failed to check the Getty archive and issued a retraction.

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All text Copyright © 2014 by Alex Boese, except where otherwise indicated. All rights reserved.