The Manchurian Candidate (1962)
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Directed by: John Frankenheimer
Starring: Frank Sinatra, Laurence Harvey, Angela Lansbury, Janet Leigh
The Manchurian Candidate ranked # 67 on the American Film Institute's Top 100 American Films list.
The Manchurian Candidate is a film adapted from the satirical 1959 novel written by Richard Condon. It was directed by John Frankenheimer and starred Frank Sinatra, Laurence Harvey and Janet Leigh. The central concept of the book and the subsequent 1962 film is that the son of a prominent political family has been brainwashed into becoming an unwilling assassin for the Communist Party; in the 2004 version, the villian was instead a giant corporation called "Manchurian Global".
The title of the original novel refers to the then-prevalent joke that Senator Joseph McCarthy was giving legitimate opposition to Communism such a bad name that he had to be a tool of the Communists—a Manchurian candidate.
Angela Lansbury was nominated for an Academy Award as Best Supporting Actress, and Ferris Webster was nominated for Best Film Editing. In addition, Lansbury was named Best Supporting Actress by the National Board of Review and won the Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress.
The film is consistently in the top 100 on the Internet Movie Database's list of top 250 films (#69 as of July 2006). It was #67 on the American Film Institute's "100 Years, 100 Movies," and #17 on its "100 Years, 100 Thrills" lists.
The film received a rare 100% rating from Rotten Tomatoes. Prominent American film critic Roger Ebert ranks The Manchurian Candidate as an exemplary "Great Film", declaring that it "is inventive and frisky, takes enormous chances with the audience, and plays not like a 'classic' but as a work as alive and smart as when it was first released."
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