The Manchurian Candidate

Raymond Shaw, the Medal of honor decorated Platoon captain, was actually brainwashed, and is forced to obey the first command he is ordered every time he watches the Queen Of Diamonds card. It was the order of his mother, Mrs. Iselin (Angela Lansbury), who wishes to make America a communist country by making her husband the president and by killing everyone in their path, using Raymond. Major Marco (Frank Sinatra) finds out about it and uses the queen of Diamonds on Raymond so that he will find out what is Iselin's Plan. Their plan, as told by Raymond, is to kill the opposite candidate while speaking certain words on his speech. Marco talks Raymond out of it by commanding him with 52 Queens of Diamond, and by that releasing him from his brainwash. However, when Mrs. Iselin orders Raymond to kill the candidate, he obeys! While aiming the sniper rifle on the candidates, Marco feels that something is wrong when he suddenly sees Raymond's sniper rifle out of the window, but is unable to reach him before the shots are fired - On Mrs. Iselin and her husband. Raymond explains the Marco that he wasn't brainwashed and this was the only way to stop His mother's Evil plan. Raymond turns the gun on himself and commits suicide. Marco and his wife mourn Raymond's death after the event.

Big Evil

Factual error: In the scene when the Senator and Raymond's mother are in the hotel room, the newspaper headline (upside down in the lower right) states that he will address the Senate that day. However, in the next scene when he proclaims there are 57 Communists (based on the Heinz ketchup), there is an uproar in the chamber and he yells "Point of order, Mr. Speaker." The Speaker (of the House) is not in the Senate, he is the head of the House of Representatives.

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Sen. John Yerkes Iselin: There's just one thing, babe. I'd be a lot happier if we could just settle on the number of Communists I know there are in the Defense Department. I mean, the way you keep changing the figures on me all the time, it makes me look like some kind of a nut, like... like an idiot.

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Trivia: Angela Lansbury plays Laurence Harvey's mother in this film, but in reality she is only three years older than him.

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Question: The whole plot of this movie makes no sense. What was the purpose of having all the soldiers "brainwashed' when they just used one to carry out what they wanted? Plus, why go to the trouble of doing all this when they could have just hired an assassin? Plus, how did they know, in 1952, that this man would be chosen to be the Vice-President?


Answer: The entire platoon was brainwashed because they were to act as witnesses and verify the fabricated story that Raymond was a "war hero." Raymond was unknowingly (by him) selected to become a sleeper agent within the U.S. government, mentally programmed to be used when needed by the Russians or Chinese. Raymond's monstrous mother, Eleanor Iselin, was married to a ruthless and ambitious U.S. Senator that she was propelling into being their party's presidential candidate. She had contacted Communists to request an assassin kill her husband's political rival so he would become the party's nominee. However, she was unaware at first that her son would be the assassin. Raymond, having been brainwashed, never realised he was a programmed assassin who would have no memory after executing his assignments. He apparently had been recruited because of his step-father's political connections. It is a rather incredible plot, to say the least.

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