What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Manchurian Candidate is the 1962 Cold War thriller starring Frank Sinatra as a Korean War veteran who begins to suspect that he and the other soldiers in his platoon were brainwashed. There is gun violence, as some characters are murdered in cold blood, shown falling to the floor dying. Another character is strangled to death. As a movie from the early 1960s, there is frequent cigarette smoking and drinking. The political intrigue, Cold War satire, and intricacies of the plot's twists and turns will make this best appreciated by teens, and as a classic movie from the Cold War era, it should inspire lively discussion about its relevance to today's world.
- One year after its release, in the wake of John F. Kennedy's assassination, this film was widely rumored to be prevented from being shown in theaters by lead actor Frank Sinatra, as well as by the studio who made the film. While there are contradictory reports as to the truth of these rumors, why might such a story be considered plausible to some?
- As, in part, a satire of the times, this film was protested by some as "Communist propaganda," and by others as "Right-Wing propaganda." Do you think either side has a valid point, or do you think those who protested are the embodiment of the very thing being satirized in the film?
- What does this film say to today's audiences about ideology, ideologues, politicians, and the treatment of solders? How can a movie from fifty years ago have relevance to today?