The Manchurian Candidate

Directed by John Frankenheimer
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The Independent Culture

The Manchurian Candidate (1962) In Korea in 1952, a US Army patrol is ambushed by Communist soldiers. A year later the squad, having escaped, returns to the US, where Staff Sergeant Raymond Shaw is to receive the Medal of Honour for single-handedly saving the lives of the squad. Shaw is the son of Elanor Iselin, wife of US Senator John Yerkes Iselin, and Mrs. Iselin turns the return of Raymond into a political rally that brings out building hostility between son and mother over the ambitions of Johnny Iselin. But there is more involved, for the actions of Raymond Shaw are not what everyone believes they are, and the nightmares of a US Army officer, Bennett Marco, leads to investigation of Raymond that unlocks a stunning political conspiracy that sweeps up Johnny and Elanor Iselin, and which only Bennett Marco can possibly stop.


John Frankenheimer


Richard Condon (novel)

George Axelrod (screenplay)


Frank Sinatra-... -Maj. Bennett Marco

Laurence Harvey-... -Raymond Shaw

Janet Leigh-... -Eugenie Rose Chaney

Angela Lansbury-... -Mrs. Iselin

Henry Silva-... -Chunjin

James Gregory-... -Sen. John Yerkes Iselin

Leslie Parrish-... -Jocelyn Jordan

John McGiver-... -Sen. Thomas Jordan

Khigh Dhiegh-... -Dr. Yen Lo

James Edwards-... -Cpl. Allen Melvin

Douglas Henderson-... -Col. Milt

Albert Paulsen-... -Zilkov

Barry Kelley-... -Secretary of Defence

Lloyd Corrigan-... -Holborn Gaines

Madame Spivy-... -Female Berezovo


  • In the scene where Frank Sinatra gives the all-queens deck of cards to Laurence Harvey, Sinatra is out of focus. He had trouble recreating his performance, so director John Frankenheimer left the footage as is. Audiences weren't bothered; they interpreted it as Harvey's blurred perspective.