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The Manchurian Candidate (1962)

PG-13 | | Drama, Thriller | 24 October 1962 (USA)
A former prisoner of war is brainwashed as an unwitting assassin for an international Communist conspiracy.

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Writers:

(based upon a novel by), (screenplay)
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Popularity
3,727 ( 860)

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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 5 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
... Major Bennett Marco
... Raymond Shaw
... Eugenie Rose Chaney
... Mrs. Eleanor Shaw Iselin
... Chunjin
... Senator John Yerkes Iselin
... Jocelyn Jordan
... Senator Thomas Jordan
Khigh Dhiegh ... Dr. Yen Lo
... Corporal Allen Melvin
Douglas Henderson ... Colonel Milt
... Zilkov
... Secretary of Defense
... Holborn Gaines
Madame Spivy ... Female Berezovo
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Storyline

Major Ben 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 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 (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 step-father, 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 nightmares similar to his own, he realizes that something happened to all of them in Korea and that ... 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:

Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

MGM

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

24 October 1962 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El embajador del miedo  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,200,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$7,700,000, 31 December 1962
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Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)| |

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Director John Frankenheimer stated during an interview on NPR's "Fresh Air" that during the portion of the brainwashing sequence shown from the perspective of black soldier Cpl. Melvin (James Edwards) he had a white actor dressed as a servant standing in the background as if prepared to wait on the black women at the gardening lecture. Given the racial attitudes in 1962, however, that particular shot did not make it into the final cut of the scene. See more »

Goofs

When Marco spots Shaw's Congressional Medal of Honor among the papers and debris on the floor. He reaches down and retrieves the medal from within the pile with his right hand but when the camera comes in for a close-up, the medal has suddenly switched to Marco's left hand. See more »

Quotes

Raymond Shaw: My dear girl, have you ever noticed that the human race is divided into two distinct and irreconcilable groups: those that walk into rooms and automatically turn television sets on, and those that walk into rooms and automatically turn them off. The trouble is that they end up marrying each other.
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Connections

Featured in Hollywood's Top Ten: All About Politics (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

The Star-Spangled Banner
(1814) (uncredited)
Music based on "The Anacreontic Song" by John Stafford Smith
Lyrics by Francis Scott Key
Sung by Marquita Moll at the convention
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Timeless Thriller with a few glitches
2 January 1999 | by See all my reviews

There are parts of The Manchurian Candidate that are so perceptive and prophetic that it can be shocking. The satire of political campaigns and the influence of political wives feels very fresh. The film is also an excellent spy thriller and foretells the many political assassinations in the 60's. There are many fine performances in the film and Angela Lansbury plays one of the best film villains I have seen. Also, the directing, cinematography and editing are terrific.

My problems with the film mainly stem from its dialogue. The script repeats lines from the book the film was based upon. The result is that the actor's lines are very often stilted and not believable. Other less important problems involve Lawrence Harvey who while he gives a fine performance needed a dialogue coach. He begins the film with an American accent and slowly takes on a English one. The Janet Leigh character is also troubling. It seems she is a Soviet agent but this is not explained. Her character is too subtle and clashes with the very straight forward presentation of the rest of the film.

The flaws of The Manchurian Candidate would sink a lesser film. But when this movie hits its stride it is so powerful that it rises above its drawbacks and remains a classic spy thriller.


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