The Manchurian Candidate (1962)


A classic thriller that introduced the concept of “psychological warfare.”  Superb performances by Frank Sinatra and “Murder She Wrote” star Angela Lansbury, as well as Lawrence Harvey.

This movie has some innovative features as former POWs remember their past as they were captured, experimented with, and trained via brainwashing and other psychological techniques.

This movie has a great plot. Part of the intrigue of this movie is how confident and competent that the characters are…Lawrence Harvey and Angela Lansbury.  Janet Leigh is an innocent loving soul who wouldn’t suspect anything.  Frank Sinatra plays a role as a tormented soul who is unsure of himself and he can’t figure out why he is so tormented.  This movie makes it difficult to figure out who is sane, and who is not.  Who is good, and who is crooked.

Could you turn a normal, outstanding soldier into a cold-blooded killer? Could there be people in high places who are planning open rebellion against the U.S. Government? This movie makes you think about what is possible.  Who are the patriots and who are the traitors?

Nominated for 2 Academy Awards…but it reality this movie could have had a lot more nominations…Lawrence Harvey gives a chilling performance, Frank Sinatra is in his normal role as a talented person who has a tormented past, and Janet Leigh as a young girl in love with all the hopes and dreams of young woman.

10 Stars…one of the best thrillers you will ever see.  Excellent fight scenes, technically interesting memory and dream scenes, and political intrigue make this the best “psychological thriller” ever made.

Todd Morgan
About Todd Morgan 56 Articles
Todd is one of nation's top classic movie experts, with a passion and determination to help the younger generation discover some of the truly greatest movies ever made. Todd reviews 2-3 movies every week and also prepares classic movie trivia, lists, writes books, and develops games all on Classic Movies. Contact him at

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