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
Contrary to popular belief, this movie was not pulled from circulation following the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy. It made its American television debut on The CBS Thursday Night Movies in September 1965 (source: Broadcasting Magazine), and was repeated on that network later that season. Only when the rights reverted to Frank Sinatra in 1972 did this movie disappear from view, although even then turning up for third and fourth network showings on NBC in spring 1974 (source: TV Guide) and summer 1975 (source: Variety). Sinatra's neglect in keeping this movie in distribution gave rise to the legend that it was suppressed because of its alleged role in Lee Harvey Oswald's alleged, never proven, assassination of the 35th President. The legend was further perpetuated when Sinatra, in alliance with MGM/UA, re-released this movie to theaters in 1988. See more »
When Dr. Yen Lo makes his little "yak dung" joke he parodies the famous Winston cigarettes advertising jingle that it "tastes good like a cigarette should". This product and slogan weren't introduced until 1954, a year after the war ended. The novel had the same error. See more »
It has been decided that you will be dressed as a priest, to help you get away in the pandemonium afterwards. Chunjin will give you a two-piece Soviet Army sniper's rifle that fits nicely into a special bag. There's a spotlight booth that won't be in use. It's up under the roof on the Eighth Avenue side of the Garden. You will have absolutely clear, protected shooting. You are to shoot the presidential nominee through the head. And Johnny will rise gallantly to his feet and lift Ben Arthur's ...
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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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