The Manchurian Candidate

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The Manchurian Candidate

“On the afternoon of his arrival in Washington, Raymond Shaw was decorated at the White House by the President of the United States. His citation attested to by his commanding officer, Captain Bennett Marco, and the nine surviving members of his patrol, read in part: 'Displaying valor above and beyond the call of duty did single-handedly save the lives of nine members of his patrol, capturing an enemy machine gun nest and taking out in the process a full company of enemy infantry. He then proceeded to lead his patrol which had been listed as missing in action for three days back through the enemy lines to safety.' Hence, the pretense of the film The Manchurian Candidate. The central conspiracy in this film involves the chosen candidate, Raymond Shaw, operating as a mole-like assassin under a developed mind control scheme of communists from the USSR, China, and North Korea. The central conspiracy reflects cold war fears and paranoia with the use of brainwashing, American traitors, and communist infiltration.

The film begins by illustrating a reoccurring dream of Captain Marco which eventually is learned to be an actual event. In this dream, Captain Marco recalls a display which reveled the effectiveness of the conditioning of a squad of American Soldiers by communists of the USSR, China, and North Korea. The nine American soldiers were captured on patrol and conditioned, or brainwashed, for three days. Once their minds were under the control of the communist overseers a false account was constructed to enable Shaw to acquire prestige and clout among Americans. Being the step son of Senator John Iselin and a Medal of Honor recipient would enable Shaw to exist as an ideal communist sleeper mole, without any suspicions; as well as the opportunity for advancement in a position which would exacerbate his infiltration into American society. Furthermore, the story could be used to explain the absence of the soldiers for the days in which...
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