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Manchurian Candidate

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Thanks Bernice.


Here's an apropos post from that thread:


An FBI report on Oswald's reading mentions that:

"Oswald read the Russian Opera and Ballet, entitled 'Queen of Spades' b Tchaikovsky. (C.D. 735 at pp.31, 38, 155, and 463.) On page 463 of this same document is noted that Marina said Oswald was very fond of this opera and often played a record of its music."

Wasn't the "Queen of Spades" the card that sparked the assassin in The Manchurian Candidate?


JFKcountercoup: DPD Captain Pat Gannaway finger Oswald?

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Wasn't the "Queen of Spades" the card that sparked the assassin in The Manchurian Candidate?

Queen of Diamonds.

MC wasn't taken entirely out of circulation in the 60's -- I saw it on KTVU (Oakland) in '65 or '66.

It made a major impression on me.

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Is this really true Greg?

Have you read anything to certify this?

I heard that Sinatra did not understand just how good of a deal his manager made on this until years later. In other words, that he could have chosen to rerelease it many years before.

It was shown on network TV more than once and I saw it there.

BTW, I have to say, the remake of this film is an utter disgrace. Just a huge disappointment. And it shows just how much one film can make a career. Jonathan Demme had no idea what this book was about. Or he would have never accepted that horrendous comic book script. When Lev Schreiber walked into that hotel room and then over to what looked like a huge doctor's office and they started implanting stuff in his brain, I knew the move was hopeless. Compare that to the great scene in the original where Frankenheimer did that incredible 180 degree camera rotation between the two sets, the North Korea one and the ladies' flower club to denote what was happening in the victim's minds. That one scene, which was actually done ON THE SET, with no subliminal cutting, is an icon. As was the great performance by Angela Lansbury.

Demme's film was an iconic turkey which desecrated a classic. But the SInatra family made some bucks alright. Like they need the money.

It is good to see someone else say this. I absolutely detested the remake, it bore no resemblance to the original. I do not know if Sinatra pulled it for the reason given here, but I believe it was pulled for political reasons. It totally explains the assassination of Bobby Kennedy.

The irony of Frankenheimer driving Bobby to THAT spot is nearly impossible to believe. One of those coincidences that seems almost Divine. Not not in a positive manner, more in a way to guide one's thinking when viewing this very important film. Like Seven Days In May, these films are must owns.


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MC wasn't taken entirely out of circulation in the 60's -- I saw it on KTVU (Oakland) in '65 or '66.

It made a major impression on me.

From the link to John Harti's article, posted by Bernice:

The movie found its largest audience (to date) when it was shown on network television during the 1965-66 season.

I was a college student at the time, and I vividly remember staying up late after the broadcast, arguing with my

dorm-mates about whether Janet Leigh (who played Sinatra’s remarkably accommodating girlfriend) was meant to be

sinister or eccentric (Leigh herself claimed she didn’t know) and wondering whether soldiers really could be

hypnotized to commit murder.

It didn’t help that the networks routinely edited theatrical movies to fit two-hour slots, and the 126-minute “Candidate”

was almost incoherent when commercials repeatedly interrupted its complex plot. The movie continued to turn up at festivals

and college film series in the 1970s, but then it really did disappear for more than a decade.

From The Los Angeles Times, January 27, 2008

A 'Manchurian' myth

IN his review of the new John Frankenheimer DVD box set, Dennis Lim repeats the urban legend that Frank Sinatra withdrew the film

from release after Kennedy's assassination ["Recapping a Career Beyond 'Manchurian'," Jan. 20]. As the man responsible for the film's

1988 reissue (when I was at MGM/UA Classics), I must once more try to put this myth to rest.

By late 1963, the film had simply played out. The original deal was for 10 years, and it was, to put it charitably, not a very good one.

When the time came to renew in 1972, Sinatra's attorneys opted to take the movie back and bury their "mistake" [of having accepted the original deal].

And so it remained "lost" until 1987, when the New York Film Festival requested it for its 25th anniversary. By then, Sinatra had new attorneys with

no ax to grind and they consented [to release the film]. The reaction was so overwhelming that MGM/UA immediately struck a new -- and much fairer -- deal

to reacquire the rights. We opened the film in February 1988 to fabulous reviews and tremendous business, and it has stayed available for theaters, TV and

home entertainment ever since. But it was never "withdrawn" prior to 1972.

Michael Schlesinger

Culver City

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The only political fiction film I ever recall impacting me like this one was The Parallax View.

The Parallax View-One heck of a good flick...the book by Loren Singer was terrible.

Except that the book was written by a former OSS agent, Loren Singer, who was interviewed by Len O. on Black Op Radio before he passed away.

Singer said that he based the tests given the subjects on tests he was given to enlist in OSS during WWII.



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