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20th Century Flicks:

The Manchurian Candidate

Dir: John Frankenheimer, 1962, USA, 126 min, 35mm, Cert: 15

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Thu 26 October // 20:00

Tickets: £5 / £4

Book tickets

Sergeant Raymond Shaw returns from the Korean War a national hero, having supposedly saved the lives of many of the members of his platoon. However, his commanding officer Captain Bennett Marco becomes troubled by a recurring nightmare that his fellow soldiers also seem to be experiencing, leading him to question his recollections of Shaw’s heroics. Are they all just pawns in a wider Communist plot, and does this tie in with Shaw’s mother’s political ambitions for her husband?

With an outstanding ensemble cast led by Frank Sinatra, Janet Leigh and Angela Lansbury, director John Frankenheimer here crafted a spine-tingling, psychologically complex suspense drama which would come to redefine the cinematic political thriller, and anticipates his later Seven Days in May and Seconds. Though reflective of the political climate of its era – escalating tensions between the U.S.A. and the Soviet Union - the film’s ever-evolving sense of contemporary relevance means it has lost none of its original power and satirical bite.