The Manchurian Candidate (1962)

PG-13   |    |  Drama, Thriller

The Manchurian Candidate (1962) Poster

A former prisoner of war is brainwashed as an unwitting assassin for an international Communist conspiracy.




  • Frank Sinatra and Laurence Harvey in The Manchurian Candidate (1962)
  • Frank Sinatra and Janet Leigh in The Manchurian Candidate (1962)
  • Laurence Harvey and Leslie Parrish in The Manchurian Candidate (1962)
  • Frank Sinatra in The Manchurian Candidate (1962)
  • Angela Lansbury in The Manchurian Candidate (1962)
  • Frank Sinatra and Henry Silva in The Manchurian Candidate (1962)

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Reviews & Commentary

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User Reviews

2 January 1999 | BB-15
| Timeless Thriller with a few glitches
There are parts of The Manchurian Candidate that are so perceptive and prophetic that it can be shocking. The satire of political campaigns and the influence of political wives feels very fresh. The film is also an excellent spy thriller and foretells the many political assassinations in the 60's. There are many fine performances in the film and Angela Lansbury plays one of the best film villains I have seen. Also, the directing, cinematography and editing are terrific.

My problems with the film mainly stem from its dialogue. The script repeats lines from the book the film was based upon. The result is that the actor's lines are very often stilted and not believable. Other less important problems involve Lawrence Harvey who while he gives a fine performance needed a dialogue coach. He begins the film with an American accent and slowly takes on a English one. The Janet Leigh character is also troubling. It seems she is a Soviet agent but this is not explained. Her character is too subtle and clashes with the very straight forward presentation of the rest of the film.

The flaws of The Manchurian Candidate would sink a lesser film. But when this movie hits its stride it is so powerful that it rises above its drawbacks and remains a classic spy thriller.

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Box Office


$2,200,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$87,850 15 February 1988

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:


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