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 HouseThe Blues Brothers, An American Werewolf In LondonTrading PlacesComing To America, Kentucky Fried MovieSpies Like UsThree Amigos!Into The Night and Michael Jackson’s Thriller, and the recent Burke and Hare for Ealing Studios,  among many other films and television shows. His documentary Mr. Warmth: The Don Rickles Project premiered on HBO and won an Emmy for Best Music, Comedy or Variety Special.  He is also the subject of noted film critic Giulia D’Agnolo Vallan’s recent book “John Landis” and his own book “Monsters in the Movies’ was published to critical and popular acclaim in 2012.