Skip to main content


USA, 1962 (MIFF 1988, Retrospectives)

Director: John Frankenheimer

Resurrected after 25 years in Frank Sinatra's vaults John Frankenheimer's long-suppressed political satire still stimulates audiences with its verve, dash and morally pointed wit.

Contrary to rumours of neo-Republican, ex-Democrat Sinatra's ideological motivations for withholding exhibition rights, the quarter century dispute apparently revolved around percentages and terms of profit participation. Whatever the reasons, film lovers must be gladdened that matters have been settled and this masterwork from the early 1960s can be re-seen, re-assessed, re-enjoyed.

The biting gall of the enterprise continues to gnaw at the core of the American body politic, social and cultural. Everything from Communistic brainwashing techniques to red baiting McCarthyist double agents and smothering Lady Macbeth like Mom-ism is incorporated into an outlandish but some how wholly credible plot. The cool, arrogant Laurence Harvey is a G.I. sergeant robotically trained and tuned by Chinese mind bending specialists to kill, some of his platoon m Manchuria, his wife and his father in law.

The tragi-comic trajectory of this puppet assassin is accidentally crossed by the intervention of Shaw's former patrol buddy Lieutenant Bennett Marco (played by Sinatra as a bookish army officer, who happens to be reading a history of the mafia)

A classic, a connoisseur's delight

"...The Manchurian Candidate no longer seems as fanciful as it did to contemporary critics who admired its ingenuity and imagination

"It was temporarily withdrawn from circulation after President Kennedy's assassination amid conjecture that it might have planted the idea for the murder. 'I find it impossible to become involved in politics since his death', Frankenheimer has said." - Allen Eyles 'The Movie The Illustrated History of the Cinema' no 61, 198

See also...


Rich, conservative, and middle-aged, Arthur Hamilton is jolted out of the routine of life by an extraordinary telephone call from a bizarre organization which offers him a chance to buy himself a new ... More »


Made at a time when stodgy stage adaptions were the rule, The Bat Whispers is every bit a movie of great pictorial inventiveness. There are scenes which hark back Do the bravura gestures of silent ... More »


Shot in 23 days at the Republic Studios in Hollywood on a budget of $ 50 000. Orson Welles' adaptation of Shakespeare's ... play has been restored by the Film Archives at the University of ... More »


"It's not exactly my book but it's a hell of a movie." - Truman Capote ... Based on Truman Capote's controversial best-selling 'non-fiction' portrayal of two apparently unmotivated killers and their ... More »


As a bonus adjunct to our Festival highlight, Preston Sturges: Tlie Rise And Fall Of An American Dreamer, we are delighted to be screening a brand new 35mm print of the last film to be scripted by ... More »


... ... The place is Hollywood, lonely for scriptwriter Dixon Steele (Bogart) who is suspected of murdering a young woman, until girl-next-door Laurel Gray (Grahame) supplies him with a false alibi ... More »

Select a festival
Search The Film Archive
Browse By Director