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The Manchurian Candidate

The Manchurian Candidate is a 1962 film directed by John Frankenheimer.

The movie stars Frank Sinatra and Laurence Harvey as 1950s army officers who suffered so-called "brainwashing" during the Korean War. The premise of the film was that the Chinese Communists had developed a technique (akin to hypnosis) whereby a man could be made to murder anyone, even his best friend, on command.

Harvey's character is controlled by his mother, played by Angela Lansbury who seeks to advance the fortunes of her husband, played by James Gregory, a McCarthy-like senatorial demagogue who was running for president.

Sinatra plays a war-time friend of Harvey's who is now a military intelligence officer who realizes something is terribly wrong with both of them and tries to uncover the mystery. Janet Leigh also appears.

The Manchurian Candidate is a psychological drama, a thriller, and a black comedy combined, much as was Dr. Strangelove.

Sinatra, who owned the rights to the film, removed it from distribution after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Sinatra broke his hand filming a brutal fight scene in the movie.

The film is consistently in the top 100 on the Internet Movie Database's list of top 250 films; was #67 on the American Film Institute's 100 Years, 100 Movies, and #17 on its 100 Years, 100 Thrills; and has been deemed "culturally significant" by the Library of Congress and selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry.

Compare The Bourne Identity[?].

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