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The Manchurian Candidate (1962)

8.1
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Ratings: 8.1/10 from 55,724 users   Metascore: 94/100
Reviews: 282 user | 114 critic | 14 from Metacritic.com

A former Korean War POW is brainwashed by Communists into becoming a political assassin. But another former prisoner may know how to save him.

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Title: The Manchurian Candidate (1962)

The Manchurian Candidate (1962) on IMDb 8.1/10

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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 6 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

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Khigh Dhiegh ...
James Edwards ...
Douglas Henderson ...
Albert Paulsen ...
Barry Kelley ...
Lloyd Corrigan ...
Madame Spivy ...
Female Berezovo
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Storyline

Major Ben Marco is an intelligence officer in the U.S. Army. He served valiantly as a captain in the Korean war and his Sergeant, Raymond Shaw, even won the Medal of Honor. Marco has a major problem however: he has a recurring nightmare, one where two members of his squad are killed by Shaw. He's put on indefinite sick leave and visits Shaw in New York. Shaw for his part has established himself well, despite the misgivings of his domineering mother, Mrs. Eleanor Shaw Iselin. She is a red-baiter, accusing anyone who disagrees with her right-wing reactionary views of being a Communist. Raymond hates her, not only for how she's treated him but equally because of his step-father, the ineffectual U.S. Senator John Iselin, who is intent on seeking higher office. When Marco learns that others in his Korean War unit have nightmares similar to his own, he realizes that something happened to all of them in Korea and that Raymond Shaw is the focal point. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Once unbelievable. Now unthinkable. The chilling classic returns [rerelease] See more »

Genres:

Mystery | Thriller

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

24 October 1962 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Manchurian Candidate  »

Box Office

Budget:

$2,200,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)| |

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When Captain Marco is shown a photo of the Communist official Gomel (Reggie Nalder) at a child's birthday party, the two children in the photo are actually the children of screenwriter George Axelrod. See more »

Goofs

The "sniper rifle" used by Raymond is not Russian, but a WWII Japanese paratrooper rifle, an Arisaka Type 99/Type 02 "takedown" version, caliber 7.7mm. See more »

Quotes

Mrs. Iselin: [cordially, at a party the Iselins are giving] How good of you to come, Tom.
Sen. Thomas Jordan: [matter-of-fact, rather than cordial] I've explained to your husband why I'm here.
Mrs. Iselin: Tom, I know you have strong, personal feelings about Johnny and about me. But, what I would like to find out is, how strong they really are. To put it as simply as possible, If Johnny's name were to be put forward at the convention next week, would you attempt to block him?
Sen. Thomas Jordan: [taken slightly aback] You're joking, of course?
Mrs. Iselin: Mr. Stevenson ...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Featured in Reel Radicals: The Sixties Revolution in Film (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

Return of a Hero
(uncredited)
Music composed and conducted by David Amram
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
A political and social thriller/drama ahead of its time.
20 August 2001 | by (Chicago, USA) – See all my reviews

John Frankenheimer's surrealistic direction and George Axelrod's adaptation of the 1959 book by the same name offer Laurence Harvey a career defining role.

Set in 1950's, A Korean War veteran Raymond Shaw(Harvey) returns home to a medal of honor for rescuing his POW platoon from behind Chinese lines and back to safety. One of the returning soldiers, (played effectively by Frank Sinatra) however, has recurring dreams of his platoon being brainwashed and Shaw committing acts of murder.

He eventually convinces army brass that Shaw is still a puppet of his Communist-Marxist operators.

Angela Lansbury, (although barely a few years older than Harvey was at the time) plays his mother in a tour de force role. She absolutely captivates and steals every scene she is in, playing a very complex role that needs to convince the viewer of many things without much dialogue.

There's a rich cast of characters, including Janet Leigh, Henry Silva, James Edwards, and a painfully accurate James Gregory. Each character weaves through the methodical subplots and tapestry of Frankenheimer's masterful "Hitchcockian" pace.

I won't give away the plot, but dear readers, allow me to sat that this one is really worth watching--until the nail-biting and chilling conclusion.

There are many undertones in this film -- political, sexual, class and power, and social. You will want to view this film several times to approach it from different perspectives.


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What/when does Raymond come out of it wilcogirl7
Janet Leigh, a Red Herring? greendahlias
Do Johnny + Mrs. Iselin remind you of anyone? Bob_Schuka
How do the communists get the mother? gabrielmestieri
You're a Communist if you Disagree technotrone
the ending?! casafras92
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