John Frankenheimer

The Manchurian Candidate

The Manchurian Candidate

The name John Frankenheimer became forever synonymous with heart-in-the-throat filmmaking when this quintessential sixties political thriller was released. Set in the early fifties, this razor-sharp adaptation of the novel by Richard Condon concerns the decorated U.S. Army sergeant Raymond Shaw (Laurence Harvey), who as a prisoner during the Korean War is brainwashed into becoming a sleeper assassin in a Communist conspiracy, and a fellow POW (Frank Sinatra) who slowly uncovers the sinister plot. In an unforgettable performance, Angela Lansbury plays Raymond’s villainous mother, the controlling wife of a witch-hunting anti-Communist senator with his eyes on the White House. The rare film that takes aim at the frenzy of the McCarthy era while also being suffused with its Cold War paranoia, The Manchurian Candidate remains potent, shocking American moviemaking.

Film Info

  • John Frankenheimer
  • United States
  • 1962
  • 126 minutes
  • Black & White
  • 1.75:1
  • English
  • Spine #803

Special Features

  • New, restored 4K digital transfer, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • Audio commentary from 1997 featuring director John Frankenheimer
  • New interview with actor Angela Lansbury
  • New piece featuring filmmaker Errol Morris discussing his appreciation for The Manchurian Candidate
  • Conversation between Frankenheimer, screenwriter George Axelrod, and actor Frank Sinatra from 1987
  • New interview with historian Susan Carruthers about the Cold War brainwashing scare
  • Trailer
    New cover by Adam Maida

Purchase Options

Special Features

  • New, restored 4K digital transfer, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • Audio commentary from 1997 featuring director John Frankenheimer
  • New interview with actor Angela Lansbury
  • New piece featuring filmmaker Errol Morris discussing his appreciation for The Manchurian Candidate
  • Conversation between Frankenheimer, screenwriter George Axelrod, and actor Frank Sinatra from 1987
  • New interview with historian Susan Carruthers about the Cold War brainwashing scare
  • Trailer
    New cover by Adam Maida
The Manchurian Candidate
Cast
Frank Sinatra
Major Bennett Marco
Laurence Harvey
Raymond Shaw
Janet Leigh
Eugenie Rose
Angela Lansbury
Mrs. Eleanor Shaw Iselin
Henry Silva
Chunjin
James Gregory
Senator John Yerkes Iselin
John McGiver
Senator Thomas Jordan
Khigh Dhiegh
Dr. Yen Lo
James Edwards
Corporal Allen Melvin
Douglas Henderson
Colonel Milt
Albert Paulsen
Zilkov
Barry Kelley
Secretary of Defense
Lloyd Corrigan
Holborn Gaines
Madame Spivy
Female Berezovo
Credits
Director
John Frankenheimer
Executive producer
Howard W. Koch
Produced by
George Axelrod
Produced by
John Frankenheimer
Based upon the novel by
Richard Condon
Screenplay by
George Axelrod
Director of photography
Lionel Lindon
Film editor
Ferris Webster
Production design
Richard Sylbert

From The Current

Angela Lansbury on the Importance of Imagination
Angela Lansbury on the Importance of Imagination

Warning! For anyone who has yet to see The Manchurian Candidate, the following video contains one rather large spoiler—but if anyone is going to spoil the surprise, it might as well be the great Angela Lansbury.

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Reintroducing John Frankenheimer’s The Manchurian Candidate
Reintroducing John Frankenheimer’s The Manchurian Candidate

It’s been more than fifty years since the release of The Manchurian Candidate, and yet the Cold War thriller remains just as heart-stopping as it was at its 1962 premiere. In the film, set in the early nineteen-fifties and adapted from Richard Cond…

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The Manchurian Candidate: Dread Center
The Manchurian Candidate: Dread Center

Set during the height of McCarthy-era paranoia and arriving in 1962, in the middle of the Cuban Missile Crisis, John Frankenheimer’s high-anxiety Communist conspiracy thriller tapped into the darkest fears of Cold War America.


By Howard Hampton

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Dana Calvo’s Top 10
Dana Calvo’s Top 10

Dana Calvo created and executive produced Amazon’s Good Girls Revolt. Previously, she was co–executive producer of Narcos on Netflix, and creator of Made in Jersey on CBS.


Counting Down to the Election in Rochester

Repertory Picks

Counting Down to the Election in Rochester

The George Eastman Museum screens John Frankenheimer’s 1962 psycho-political thriller in anticipation of election night.

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Talking with Evans Frankenheimer about The Manchurian Candidate
Talking with Evans Frankenheimer about The Manchurian Candidate

In honor of our disc release last week of the classic John Frankenheimer thriller The Manchurian Candidate, we sat down to talk about the film with the director’s widow, actor Evans Frankenheimer.

By Hillary Weston

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