Factual error: Raymond is equipped with what is described as a high-power Soviet sniper rifle. However, the rifle he uses is actually a Japanese carbine.
The Manchurian Candidate (1962)
Ending / spoiler
Directed by: John Frankenheimer
Starring: Angela Lansbury, Frank Sinatra, Janet Leigh, Laurence Harvey
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.
Marco: It's not that Raymond Shaw is hard to like. He's impossible to like.
Trivia: Angela Lansbury plays Laurence Harvey's mother in this film, but in reality she is only three years older than him.
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?
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Answer: It's confusing. The entire platoon was brainwashed to be witnesses and verify the fabricated story that Raymond was a "war hero" who saved their lives. Raymond was unknowingly mentally programmed to become a sleeper agent to be used when needed by the Russians or Chinese. He was chosen because Raymond's monstrous mother, Eleanor Iselin, was married to a ruthless, ambitious "Joseph McCarthy-esque" U.S. Senator. She was propelling her husband into being their party's presidential candidate and contacted Communist agents to arrange for her husband's political rival to be assassinated. She was initially unaware that her son would be the chosen assassin. Raymond, being brainwashed, never realised he was a programmed assassin who would have no memory of executing his assignments. He apparently was recruited because of his step-father's political position. It is a rather incredulous plot, to say the least.