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John Frankenheimer's brilliant adaptation of Richard Condon's Cold-War satire, THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE is the director's best film, both a coruscating thriller and a razor-sharp satire of political hysteria that captures the turbulent mood of the 1960s. Packed with sly details, such as the liberal senator "bleeding" milk when he's shot, the film demands repeated viewings.
Laurence Harvey stars as Sergeant Raymond Shaw, whose U.S. army unit is captured while fighting in Korea, taken to Manchuria, and brainwashed by Chinese communists. The men return to the U.S. with no conscious memory of their experience, and Shaw is awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for bravery. But when Captain Bennett Marco (Frank Sinatra) starts having nightmares, he begins an authorized investigation into what happened in Manchuria and eventually reveals that the sergeant's brainwashing has transformed him into an unconscious assassin who can be triggered by his communist controllers at will. Although Sinatra is slightly miscast as a tortured intellectual, Harvey and the remaining cast are excellent, as is Richard Sylbert's inventively designed "brainwashing" sequence, Lionel Lindon's extraordinary depth-of-field camerawork, and David Amram's witty, neoclassical score.
John Frankenheimer - American Director
Angela Lansbury - American Film and Television Actress, MURDER, SHE WROTE
Leslie Parrish - American Actress
George Axelrod - American Writer/Producer/Director
Richard Condon - American Screenwriter/Novelist
Howard W. Koch - 1950s-80s American producer, THE ODD COUPLE/AIRPLANE!
Janet Leigh - American actress, PSYCHO
Jeanette Helen Morrison - American actress, PSYCHO
John McGiver - American Character Actor
Richard Sylbert - Production designer, WHO'S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF
Laurence Harvey - British actor, ROOM AT THE TOP
Henry Silva - American Actor/USA & Europe
David Amram - American Composer
Frank Sinatra - Oscar-winning American actor/singer, FROM HERE TO ETERNITY
Francis Albert Sinatra - Oscar-winning American actor/singer, FROM HERE TO ETERNITY
Frank Sinatra Sr. - Oscar-winning American actor/singer, FROM HERE TO ETERNITY
James Gregory - American Character Actor
James Edwards - American Actor
Paul Pollard - Second Unit Director Of Photography\"Dutch"
- Format: Blu-Ray
- Run Time: 126
- Color Format: B&W
- UPC: 883904232056
- Genre: Drama
- Rating: PG-13 (MPAA)
- Release Date: May 2011
Theatrical release: October 24, 1962. Shooting locations: Los Angeles and New York City. The film was tied up for 25 years in a legal dispute between United Artists and Frank Sinatra, who believed the film's profits were being underreported. THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE was added to the Library of Congress National Film Registry in 1994. THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE is number 67 on the American Film Institute's list of America's 100 Greatest Movies. Frank Sinatra wanted Lucille Ball in the mother role played by Angela Lansbury.
"...It looked good then; it looks even better now....[Sinatra] is extremely moving..." - 11/01/1987 Film Comment, p.60-7
"...THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE proves that its fascination is intact..." - 01/12/1988 Los Angeles Times, p.C1
"...Easily the best and most complex of all Cold War thrillers..." - 01/01/2001 Total Film, p.108
"THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE feels astonishingly contemporary; its astringent political satire still bites, and its story has uncanny contemporary echoes." - 12/07/2003 Chicago Sun-Times, p.3
"Frank Sinatra excels as a Korean war vet....And Angela Lansbury is a marvel..." - 08/05/2004 Rolling Stone, p.124
"THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE tweaks our collective fear that the enemy looks exactly like us in much the same way that the original INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS does, but with a political doomsday scenario foregrounded rather than merely implied." -- Grade: A- - 03/12/2016 A.V. Club