The original film, The Manchurian Candidate, is gold-framed American cinematic history. Filmed in 1962; it had been removed from circulation after the assassination of John F. Kennedy in 1963. That's understandable as the Kennedy incident plunged the entire country into mourning and U.S. citizens put discussion about political differences and any criticisms of the nation's leaders on a back burner.
However, the grieving period did not last for 25 years. Sadly, there was a long drawn-out dispute over the distribution rights and the viewing public was put on hold. It was finally re-released in 1987. Even better, MGM/UA (Metro Goldwyn Mayer/United Artists) released a home video, 1996, with the original theatrical trailer. It's in black and white; not colorized. (YAY!) Kudos to all who worked together to assemble such a fine cast. Even though Angela Lansbury and Laurence Harvey were practically the same age in real life, she played the part of the power-hungry ambitious mother most convincingly. Ms. Lansbury, for most of her career, was always a supporting actress, instead of the leading female character in films. No matter, as her performances were star-worthy. She, along with everyone else in this film, were credible, persuasive, believable.
The Communist witch-hunt led by Senator Joseph Raymond McCarthy (1950s) is woven into the storyline. Certainly, at that time, many in the motion picture industry had been blacklisted, as well as American citizens in other fields; and their careers and ability to earn an honest living were adversely impacted; not to mention their freedom to choose their own political philosophy and ideals. This is not to understate, downplay or negate the unfair oppression and persecution of alleged Communist infiltrators, but!!!
But the idea of a reprobate political and military apparatus secretly engaging in warped behavior therapy, turning honorable soldiers into semi-zombie-like killing machines, with no memory of the murderous acts they commit, so that in effect, they would have no feelings of regret, remorse or guilt????
Let me put it another way.
McCarthyism? Hmmm ... ?? 100 pound Twinkie. Maybe 1000 pounds.
Mind Control? Mind control:
- approved by mother,
- for use on her own children
- so that children can be all mom wants them to be!
War hero? President? Whatever!
There isn't a scale in the universe that can weigh a Twinkie that big!!!