The Manchurian Candidate

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Director: John Frankenheimer Run Time: 126 min. Format: DCP Rating: NR

Starring: Angela Lansbury, Frank Sinatra, Henry Silva, James Gregory, Janet Leigh, Laurence Harvey

National Security expert Bill Arkin and military analyst Tyler Rogoway will lead a discussion on Cold War-era conspiracy thriller THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE with U.S. Navy Officer Malcolm Nance.

In 1962, the iconic thriller The Manchurian Candidate foretold the story of media in shaping public opinion in an insider threat (homegrown terrorism anyone?) about a Korean War hero secretly programmed as a sleeper mole to assassinate a Presidential candidate.  The pseudo-documentary initially flopped at the box office, was banned in Soviet bloc countries, and withdrawn from circulation after the assassination of JFK. It was also remade in 2004 with Denzel Washington and a demonic Hillary Clinton (whoops! Meryl Streep) to add, umm, color.  The original, starring Frank Sinatra and Angela Lansbury, still stands up with a Hitchcock-like climax.

Malcolm Nance was at one time the Chief of Training for the US Navy Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape school, where he taught SEAL, pilots, soldiers, sailors and Marines how to avoid capture, resist enemy torture, exploitation and psychological stresses, and try to escape captivity whether as wartime POWs, peacetime governmental detainees, or as terrorist hostages. An expert on torture, particularly water-boarding and mental survival, he has unique views on the brainwashing tactics used in The Manchurian Candidate, which was widely watched and discussed in the SERE community.

Part of IT’S A CONSPIRACY presented by Gawker Media.

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