The Manchurian Candidate
The Manchurian Candidate is a Cold War thriller film directed by John Frankenheimer from a screenplay by George Axelrod based on Richard Condon’s 1959 novel of the same name. The Manchurian Candidate was released in October of 1962. The film stars Frank Sinatra, Laurence Harvey, and Janet Leigh. It features Angela Lansbury, Henry Silva, and James Gregory. The film begins in Korea in 1952 where Sergeant Raymond Shaw (Laurence Harvey) and his platoon are betrayed by their Korean translator, captured by enemy forces, and taken to Manchuria. After the war, the soldiers return to the United States where Sergeant Shaw is credited with saving the lives of his platoon and awarded the Medal of Honor at the recommendation of the platoon commander, Captain Bennett Marco (Frank Sinatra). When asked to describe Shaw’s actions and demeanor the whole platoon responds automatically, “Raymond Shaw is the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful human being I’ve ever known in my life.” This contradicts what they really think about Shaw.
Marco has been suffering from a recurring nightmare in which the platoon is at a ladies garden club meeting and a hypnotized Shaw strangles and shoots two soldiers in the platoon. Marco’s perception of the ladies at the meeting switches between communist military brass and ladies fanning themselves in the heat. Marco’s dream is excused as PTSD by Army Intelligence until another soldier, Allen Melvin (James Edwards), has the same nightmare and identifies the same military men in his dream as Marco. Marco is eventually able to piece together what happened in Manchuria and understands that Raymond Shaw was programmed into an assassin who will kill anyone when given the proper commands. Shaw is also being used by his controlling mother, Eleanor Iselin (Angela Lansbury), who guides the political career of her husband Senator John Iselin (James Gregory). Senator Iselin is a dimwitted, McCarthy-esque man hoping to win the...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document