John Landis on

The Manchurian Candidate

Released 1962
Distributor United Artists

Perfectly cast down to the smallest roles, director John Frankenheimer’s stunning satirical thriller was part of his remarkable run of quality hits during the 1960s. Oddly, this one was not a box office success and its classic status only kicked in when it was reissued in 1988, after being pulled from distribution following the Kennedy assassination. Laurence Harvey, as an army grunt programmed into a killing machine by Chinese communists, never found another part that played so well to his icy persona and Angela Lansbury, only three years his senior, is unforgettable as his monstrous mother. One of JFK’s favorite movies. The misguided 2004 remake turns it into a science fiction movie!

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About John Landis

John Landis is the director of Animal House, The Blues BrothersAn American Werewolf In LondonTrading Places, Schlock, Kentucky Fried MovieSpies Like UsThree Amigos!Into The Night, The Stupids, Innocent Blood, Coming To America, Burke & Hare, and Michael Jackson’s Thriller and Black Or White among many other films, commercials and extensive work in television. He was the Executive Producer and often director of HBO's celebrated series Dream On, and contributed two movies to the Masters of Horror series, Deer Woman and Family. His feature length documentaries Mr. Warmth: The Don Rickles Project premiered on HBO, and Slasher on IFC.