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
Shaw's character wears the stripes of a Sergeant First Class on both his fatigue uniform in Korea and his dress uniform coat when returning to the U.S., although he is referred to in the film as "Staff Sergeant Raymond Shaw," which is actually one rank lower than the stripes he wears. See more »
Benjamin K. Arthur:
Nor would I ask of any fellow American, in defense of his freedom, that which I would not gladly give myself: my life before my liberty!
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The picture that introduced sleeper agents to film, 'The Manchurian Candidate' is a classic political thriller that still remains as intriguing as it was 52 years ago. Starring Frank Sinatra, Laurence Harvey, Janet Leigh and Oscar-nominee Angela Lansbury, 'The Manchurian Candidate' is an outstanding and unparalleled thriller set in the midst of the Cold War, a tale of politics, family, distress and guilt with flawless direction from Frankenheimer. A benchmark of American cinema, 'The Manchurian Candidate' is a film that is is not only a timeless political thriller but also a satire of American history and propaganda.
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