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The Manchurian Candidate (1962)

Approved  |   |  Mystery, Thriller  |  24 October 1962 (USA)
8.0
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Ratings: 8.0/10 from 58,691 users   Metascore: 94/100
Reviews: 292 user | 129 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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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:

If you come in five minutes after this picture begins, you won't know what it's all about! When you've seen it all, you'll swear there's never been anything like it! 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

Frank Sinatra told the press he was more excited to do this film than any other he had ever worked on. He was particularly taken with having to say things in the script "I've never had to speak on screen before...long, wild speeches." George Axelrod said he thought it was terrific "to have that marvellous, beat-up Sinatra face giving forth long, incongruous speeches." See more »

Goofs

The camera's shadow is visible on the bust of Abraham Lincoln. See more »

Quotes

Eugenie Rose Chaney: Maryland is a beautiful state.
Bennett Marco: This is Delaware.
Eugenie Rose Chaney: I know, I was one of the orginal Chinese workmen who laid the track on this straight.
Eugenie Rose Chaney: But, em... nonetheless, Maryland is a beautiful state.
Eugenie Rose Chaney: So is Ohio for that matter.
Bennett Marco: I guess so, Columbus is a tremendous football town.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Mystery Science Theater 3000: I Accuse My Parents (1993) See more »

Soundtracks

Cantina Latina, Korea 1952
(uncredited)
Music composed and conducted by David Amram
Louis Blackburn, trombone; Harold Land, tenor sax; Jack Nimitez, baratone saxophone; Paul Horn, flutist; Manny Klein, trumpet; David Amram, French horn.
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Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
All by itself it raises my opinion of everyone involved.
14 August 1999 | by (Canberra, Australia) – See all my reviews

Wow! I was expecting right wing propaganda, or possibly even (a distant outside chance) left wing propaganda: I certainly wasn't expecting THIS. It isn't propaganda at all. Deriving any kind of message at all from the film is difficult - one might be tempted to conclude that we ought to never trust people who cry cheap political insults like "communist!" or "fascist!" or "racist!" at the first opportunity, but that's just a thought. At any rate, in order to get a message we have to think about the story for ourselves, very carefully, which makes it the very opposite of propaganda.

Here's another bit of advice: don't make the mistake, as I did, of thinking now and then that Frankenheimer is drifting from the point. He knows exactly what he's doing at all times. Whenever it seems he's offering some interesting diversion from the main story he's really telling the main story by other means. How good the story is I cannot convey without saying too much. Probably the central conceit everyone knows already, which was why Frankenheimer was right to spill most of the beans as soon as possible - but he does has one or two in reserve. One great thing about the story is that it doesn't rely at all on us thinking it likely.

Everyone, from composer to cameraman, did a fine job, and the cast does an even finer one. Angela Lansbury gives the performance of her life. Frank Sinatra I had never seen in a movie before, and I was surprised to discover that he can act - very well, too. It permeates down to the minor roles. Leslie Parrish as the charming innocent is certainly charming, but also subtle. "The Manchurian Candidate" would easily be the best of its kind even if it weren't the only of its kind.


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