by guest writer
The Manchurian Candidate (1962) is one of the best political thrillers of all time. John Frankenheimer’s career began in television in the mid 50’s. Within a few years he was to direct such films as this one, Seven Days in May (1964) and Seconds (1966). The subject of the movie is a very sensitive one considering the political tensions in the US prior to JFK’s assassination in 1963. Outlining plots against the US’ integrity by members of high ranking officials in the Senate, the film doesn’t stop at making accusations as to who really controls the high officials chosen by the people and how their actions are not dictated by themselves alone. Hypocrisy, manipulation, lack of humanity are just among the few themes approached through a clever built screenplay.
Major Bennett Marco (Frank Sinatra) and Raymond Shaw (Laurence Harvey) are among a group of prisoners of war suddenly thrown into the eye of press after their return from Korea. Sinatra’s character is quintessential in the development of the plot and offers the balance and control upon Raymond Shaw. Paranoia governs the movie, offering some very elaborate character psychology insides. And finally, Angela Lansbury’s role as Mrs. Eleanor Shaw is unforgettable.
photo: still from the film (Frank Sinatra and Laurence Harvey), via IMDb | credit: M.C.Productions