Major Bennett Marco (Frank Sinatra) is an intelligence officer in the U.S. Army. He served valiantly as a Captain in the Korean war and his Sergeant, Raymond Shaw (Laurence Harvey), even received the Medal of Honor. Marco has a major problem however: he has a recurring nightmare, one where two members of his squad were killed by Shaw. He's put on indefinite sick leave and visits Shaw in New York City. Shaw, for his part. has established himself well, despite the misgivings of his domineering mother, Mrs. Eleanor Shaw Iselin (Dame Angela Lansbury). 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 stepfather, the ineffectual U.S. Senator John Iselin (James Gregory), who is intent on seeking higher office. When Marco learns that others in his Korean War unit have had nightmares similar to his own, he realizes that something happened to all of ...Written by
This was part of a four-movie deal between United Artists and Frank Sinatra's production company, with Sinatra appearing in two of them. See more »
Rosie lights a cigarette and gives it to Marco on the train. He smokes it, then stamps it out, then is seen smoking it again, then finishes grinding it out. The long shots don't match the closeups. See more »
It's not that Raymond Shaw is hard to like. He's IMPOSSIBLE to like!
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The West German version was edited (ca. 4 minutes) to remove every scene with the ladies in the greenhouse. This version was also released on DVD. In 2005 the uncut version (with subtitles for the missing scenes) was shown on Arte. Only in 2020 was the complete version released on Blu-ray/DVD. See more »
As a long time fan of this film I note there is little that has gone unmentioned in the positive reviews - except this. I would like to put in a word of praise for the academy award winning editor Ferris Webster. Webster's crowning achievement was the famed 'garden party' sequence in which the malevolent communist agents are transformed into ladies at a garden club and back again, the vertigo of the circling camera draws us into the actual mental state of the brainwashed captives. Each camera movement, each shot was so exquisitely timed and placed that this is almost equal to the shower-bath scene in Psycho as a classic of modern editing. This scene is still studied in film schools by future editors. Also, the cutting in the finale scene at the convention expertly creates a Hitchcockian suspense totally dependent on the editing.
Another aside, Angela Lansbury 'cut her teeth' for this role playing the ruthless newspaper owner in the Tracy-Hepburn film State of the Union. In that film she managed to upstage Hepburn herself! And it was obvious that she should play the 'biggest, baddest mother of all'.
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