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The Manchurian Candidate (1962)

8.1
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Ratings: 8.1/10 from 57,160 users   Metascore: 94/100
Reviews: 286 user | 118 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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(based upon a novel by), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Title: The Manchurian Candidate (1962)

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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 7 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:

Botschafter der Angst  »

Box Office

Budget:

$2,200,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)| |

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

the film was completed in only 39 shooting days. See more »

Goofs

When Marco and Rosie are talking in the vestibule of the railroad car, she tells him, "I live on 64th Street, a few doors from The Modern Museum of Art". (She should correctly have said, "The Museum of Modern Art".) See more »

Quotes

[last lines]
Bennett Marco: Poor Raymond. Poor friendless, friendless Raymond. He was wearing his medal when he died.
[reads from a book of U.S Army citations]
Bennett Marco: You should read some of the citations sometime. Just read them. Taken, eight prisoners, killing four enemy in the process while one leg and one arm was shattered and he could only crawl because the other leg had been blown off - Edwards. Wounded five times, dragged himself across the direct fire of three enemy machine guns to pull two of his wounded men ...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Wild Wild West: The Night of the Big Blast (1966) See more »

Soundtracks

Dare to Dream
(uncredited)
Music composed and conducted by David Amram
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Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

One of the Finest Movies of Its Genre
15 February 2006 | by (Ohio) – See all my reviews

Still one of the finest movies of its genre, this original film version of "The Manchurian Candidate" features excellent atmosphere, memorable characters, and a first-rate cast. John Frankenheimer's direction shows a very good understanding of the material and its potential, and indeed it is a rare example of a top quality movie being made from an average novel, rather than the other way around.

Frank Sinatra and Laurence Harvey carry the bulk of the movie, as former members of the same military unit in Korea, who slowly learn the truth about their shared past. Both give fine performances, with Sinatra's character perpetually nervous and fearful of what he will find, yet compelled to get at the truth, while Harvey as Sergeant Shaw is coldly self-composed, and contemptuous of anyone else's weakness.

The supporting cast is also excellent. Angela Lansbury's icy presence as Shaw's mother is unforgettable, Janet Leigh makes an intriguing woman of mystery, and James Gregory is flawless as a pestilential, brainless Senator. Khigh Dhiegh also has some fine moments of refined cruelty as evil mastermind Yen Lo.

Some of the finest scenes come from the dream sequences, which are crafted very well from a technical viewpoint, and which also ring true with the story as it comes out. They produce some chilling moments, as well as making the plot concept - which in itself is pretty far- fetched - seem more believable.

With the passage of time and the dissolution of Cold War tensions, it's now possible to watch this without any political baggage, and to allow the excellent production to stand on its own high quality, rather than on any contemporary sentiments.


14 of 17 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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