Brainwashing -- Drama, Cold War -- Drama, Condon, Richard. The Manchurian candidate -- Film and video adaptations, Korean War, 1950-1953 -- Veterans -- Drama, Presidents -- Assassination attempts -- Drama

The Manchurian Candidate

  • Portrait of Greil Marcus by ida lødemel tvedt

    Cultural critic Greil Marcus is the author of a monograph on The Manchurian Candidate published in the British Film Institute’s Film Classics series. Photo: ida lødemel tvedt.


Frank Sinatra, Laurence Harvey, Janet Leigh, Angela Lansbury,

Frankenheimer’s outspoken satire, based on Richard Condon’s novel, played with America’s oversized horror of Communist infiltration while dealing on another level with the brainwashing potential of media-induced fear. Laurence Harvey and Frank Sinatra return from the Korean War after the Communists have taken them and their entire platoon to the head cleaners, and made Harvey a walking time-bomb set to assassinate the presidential nominee. Harvey’s sensitive portrayal of this much-used soldier is a sobering antidote to the Kubrick-like absurdity of the plot. The fact that the president-to-be(-murdered) is Harvey’s stepfather is only the beginning of the film’s reverberating Oedipal complex.

  • George Axelrod
Based On
  • the novel by Richard Condon

  • Lionel Lindon
Print Info
  • B&W
  • DCP
  • 126 mins
  • Park Circus

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The Manchurian candidate (review), MovieMaker, 2008

They stand alone (article), Village Voice, Elliott Stein, 2003

Press Here (article), East Bay Express, Anneli Rufus, 2003

The directors: Take one -- excerpt (book excerpt), Allworth Press, Robert J. Emery, 2002

Director John Frankenheimer dies (obituary), Oakland Tribune, Bernard Weinraub, 2002

The Manchurian candidate (program note), San Francisco International Film Festival, Steve Mockus, 2001

Hollywood's golden lion (interview), Mill Valley Film Festival, Lindi King, 1991

The films of the sixties (book excerpt), Citadel Press, Douglas Brode, 1990

Frankie goes to Washington (review), East Bay Express, Kelly Vance, 1988

The Manchurian candidate (review), American Film, 1988

Displaying 10 of 28 publicly available documents.

View all The Manchurian Candidate documentation on CineFiles.