Cast and Crew: John Frankenheimer (Direct0r); Richard Condon (Novel); George Axelrod (Screenplay); Janet Leigh, Angela Lansbury, Henry Silva, Whit Bissell
What It’s About: Bennett Marco (Frank Sinatra) investigates his strange, recurring nightmares, which center around an incident during the Korean war where a man despised by his unit, Raymond Shaw (Laurence Harvey), was awarded the Medal of Honor. Can Marco figure out what really happened on that night in Korea before it is too late?
Why Watch it Today?: John F. Kennedy was assassinated today in 1963. For years The Manchurian Candidate, a political thriller that revolves around an assassination plot, was out of circulation, and a rumor grew that Frank Sinatra pulled the film because it was too close in theme to the real events. In reality, Sinatra simply failed to keep the film in distribution. It’s easy to see how this myth developed because The Manchurian Candidate is an excellent, chilling political thriller about an assassination plot released just over a year before a presidential assassination. It’s especially interesting to see how this work of (often satirical) fiction has influenced the various conspiracy theories about the assassination.
Where to Get It: Netflix (Rental), Libraries
Mo Rating for Movember: Since The Manchurian Candidate was made in the early 1960s, the lead characters, all good Americans, or at least posing as good Americans, do not have facial hair. The Communists, however, have absolutely amazing Mos, earning the film 4 out of 5 Mos. You could get some great ideas for future Movember designs from these guys.