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“Do not read the Latin!”

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The Manchurian Candidate (1962)
Director: John Frankenheimer
Starring: Frank Sinatra, Lawrence Harvey, Angela Lansbury
Running Time: 2 hrs, 6 min
Rated: PG-13


Review by Brother Reed

The Manchurian Candidate has often been called a great film. It’s achieved the status of “classic” in recent days and I assume this is because it is an influential thriller with a star-studded cast. At the time of its release it fed into the political paranoia of the Cold War. Between Communist threats, political conspiracy, and assassination, many relevant ideas are played with in the movie – relevant, that is, in 1962. If you are politically-minded or very interested in the McCarthy era this film is likely to be a greater treasure to you than to others. A few of the movie’s themes are still applicable, as there is always some new foreign threat or political unrest. Conspiracy theorists are probably as numerous today as they were then. Yet when I view this movie, there seems to me very little urgency. Unlike some viewers, I get little sense that this movie speaks to the world today. Perhaps this is because I don’t readily entertain far-fetched espionage plots, or because I have relatively little interest in politics and right-wing/left-wing bickering (though I’m not above tossing out the occasional zinger about the powers that be). READ FULL REVIEW