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THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE

Director: JOHN FRANKENHEIMER

U.S.A. • 1962 • BLACK AND WHITE • 126 MIN


John Frankenheimer’s imaginative espionage thriller feeds off the paranoid atmosphere and conspiracy theories that were circulating everywhere in Cold War America of the early 1950s. For the first time ever on screen, Sinatra plays a more conventional tough guy — an army major trying to stop a Communist plot to assassinate the President. The star himself described making the film as the best experience he ever had working on a movie; aside from acting in it, Sinatra also took on the role of an Executive Producer and even cleared its controversial subject matter with his then big chum, President Jack Kennedy. Undoubtedly one of the finest films in director Frankenheimer’s variable output, this appropriately edgy film is also an excellent adaptation of Richard Condon’s novel. Sadly, it was perceived to be more than a little prescient when Kennedy was assassinated a few years later, which upset Sinatra so much that he withdrew the film from circulation until the 1980s.

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