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Manchurian Canidate


Wow what a great political thriller. Awesome premise and great editing during the "flower talk" scenes. Any good movies like this made recently (10 years)?
Reportedly John F. Kennedy's favorite movie, "Candidate" basically deals with an obnoxious, rich pretty boy from a well-connected family who goes off to war and returns a hero. The only problem, however, is that he isn't a hero at all ... as it turns out, the entire company was captured by the enemy and brainwashed. In real life, everyone in the company hated the guy, but they were brainwashed into thinking that he saved all of their lives. This was done intentionally to set-up the guy into a prominent position once he came back to the states. He was essentially turned into a "sleeper" who -- once a triggering symbol was activated -- could kill anyone on command.

As irony would have it, the enemy "sold" him to the highest bidder who was none other than his overly-dominate mother. The mother was married to someone who was running for a high political office (whether it was the guy's father or step-father, I forget) and she uses her son to assassinate the other guy running for office.

The only problem, however, is that the character played by Frank Sinatra (who was in the guy's company) figures out that they were all brainwashed and tries to stop the guy from completing his mission.

The movie has turned into cult classic over the years, partlty due to John F. Kennedy's fondness for it (and the similarities between him and the main character) and because it has been pointed to in recent years from all the school shootings -- i.e. the media, video games and music have turned our nation's children into mindless zombie killing machines.
Good political thrillers are pretty scarce these days. The Manchurian Candidate is pretty unique. It was unavailable for many years, which added to its mystique. I like The Tailor Of Panama, based on a John Le Carre novel, starring Pierce Brosnan. Here is an IMDb link for it:

Spy Game with Robert Redford isn't bad. Also, The Bourne Identity was watchable, but neither is of Manchurian Candidate stature. If you like The Manchurian Candidate, you should check out the 60's 17 ep TV series, The Prisoner, available on DVD.

Of course there are several Tom Clancy political thrillers. Also, the original FX is really good. Eastwood's 1993 In The Line Of Fire sn't bad.
I keep hearing about the Prisoner from this site. I might go and see it now after it being mentioned for the 100th time :LOL:

I always caught the Tailor of Panama in the middle so was totally lost. Enjoyed the ending though. I enjoyed Patriot Games and the like but that usually involves a bad guy they need to get. No twists or turns or in depth looks at the human psyche. Hunt for Red October is awesome but is that classified a political thriller? By the way one of my favorite lines in a movie, "I don't DANCE." Who knows where it's from?
I would call Hunt For Red October very much a political thriller, but I haven't read Tom Clancy, so I can't help you with the quote. Too bad the Tailor Of Panama is spoiled for you, since you saw the ending, without seeing it from the start. The ending wasn't bad, but I think the movie as a whole was stronger than the ending.

The Prisoner most definitely probes the human psyche. :D It is Kafkaesque, surreal, allegorical scifi, with politics thrown in.
While we're listing political thrillers, it behooves me to throw in All the President's Men. Unfortunately, I watched before I knew some of the backstory and could appreciate what it's all about, so I was bored. Must watch it again.
Yes, it is a docudrama about Watergate, staring Dustin Hoffman and Robert Redford. The title is a play on the Humpty Dumpty rhyme, "And all the King's men couldn't put him together again."