This week, Zach gets a little freaked out over the number of Communists running around, and what they might be doing to our heads. Frank Sinatra stars in the 1962 classic, Manchurian Candidate.

The Manchurian Candidate is a 1962 American Cold War suspense thriller film directed by John Frankenheimer from a screenplay by George Axelrod based on Richard Condon’s 1959 novel. It stars Frank Sinatra, Laurence Harvey and Janet Leigh and features Angela Lansbury, Henry Silva, and James Gregory.
The central concept of the film is that the son of a prominent right-wing political family has been brainwashed as an unwitting assassin for an international Communist conspiracy. The Manchurian Candidate was nationally released on Wednesday, October 24, 1962, at the height of the Cuban Missile Crisis. The film was well received and gained nominations for two Academy Awards.


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About Author

Stephen Schleicher began his career writing for the Digital Media Online community of sites, including Digital Producer and Creative Mac covering all aspects of the digital content creation industry. He then moved on to consumer technology, and began the Coolness Roundup podcast. A writing fool, Stephen has freelanced for Sci-Fi Channel's Technology Blog, and Gizmodo. Still longing for the good ol' days, Stephen launched Major Spoilers in July 2006, because he is a glutton for punishment. You can follow him on Twitter @MajorSpoilers and tell him your darkest secrets...


  1. Frederick aka Darth Macho on

    Zach On Film is a great podcast. Not only has it gotten me more interested in movies, but I’m interested in a whole new way. I’ve even enjoyed episodes about movies I otherwise had no interest in before, or that gave me flashbacks of my awkward teen years (i.e 80’s films). Brilliant job by all.

  2. As a conspiracy buff, I love this movie and the weird synchronicities and parallels to the JFK hit. Kennedy was allegedly a fan of the novel and was Your mention of Jack Valenti and the MPAA was one of these, as Valenti ties into a few theories about the JFK assassination. Valenti was a Texan with close ties to LBJ, and who began working in the LBJ administration essentially from the day of the hit onward. Valenti can be seen in the background the famous photo of LBJ being sworn in on Air Force One with Jackie Kennedy standing beside him.

    Another piece of JFK/Manchurian Candidate high weirdness involves Sinatra in his 1954 film ‘Suddenly’, where old blue eyes plays the Oswald/Shaw assassin figure. More a typical 50s mobster type hitman, than a brainwashed tool of the commies though. Oswald’s wife alleged that Oswald watched the film numerous times, including a few days prior to the Kennedy hit. ‘Suddenly’ lapsed into public domain and is available on YouTube, Internet Archive and other places for free viewing.

    I also found it interesting how you all responded to the scene of smoking in a restaurant and found it so…out of place. Conditioning (brainwashing?) does work, as illustrated by this modern response to something once mundane and utterly commonplace . Now imagine powerful drugs, sleep, food and water deprivation, coupled with torture and/or a punishment and reward system. Can a psyche be literally torn apart and reconstructed in the manner of Raymond Shaw?

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