The Manchurian Candidate

The Manchurian Candidate

(1962)

When you've seen it all, you'll swear there's never been anything like it!

1962 spy thriller starring Frank Sinatra, follows a Communist plot to brainwash American soldiers into becoming sleeper agents during the Korean War. Also stars Janet Leigh and Angela Lansbury in an Oscar-winning performance.... More

Raymond Shaw (Laurence Harvey) becomes a decorated war hero, much to the concern of his intelligence officer Ben Marco (Sinatra). Plagued by a reoccurring nightmare of Shaw murdering two of his squad members, Marco explores the reasoning behind Shaw's heroism award and uncovers disturbing Cold War tactics: an American soldier has been programmed by Chinese communists to assassinate a presidential candidate.

Based on the novel by Richard Condon, a second film adaptation was made in 2004 directed by Jonathan Demme, starring Denzel Washington and Meryl Streep.Hide

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98% of critics recommend.
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  • Here is a movie that was made more than 25 years ago, and it feels as if it were made yesterday. Not a moment of The Manchurian Candidate lacks edge and tension and a cynical spin. Full Review

  • A career high for almost everyone involved (discounting Sinatra's singing), The Manchurian Candidate contains everything you could want from a movie, including celluloid's first ever karate fight. Full Review

  • The film is so artfully contrived, the plot so interestingly started, the dialogue so racy and sharp, and John Frankenheimer's direction so exciting in the style of Orson Welles when he was making Citizen Kane and other pictures that the fascination of it is strong. Full Review

  • One of the wildest fabrications any author has ever tried to palm off on a gullible public. But the fascinating thing is that, from uncertain premise to shattering conclusion, one does not question plausibility of the events being rooted in their own cinematic reality. Full Review