Last modified on 27 October 2014, at 14:39

The Manchurian Candidate (1962 film)

The Manchurian Candidate is a 1962 film about a Korean War hero who returns to America after having been unwittingly brainwashed to carry out an assassination.

Directed by John Frankenheimer. Written by Richard Condon, George Axelrod and John Frankenheimer.
If you come in five minutes after this picture begins, you won't know what it's all about! taglines

Staff Sergeant Raymond ShawEdit

  • You know how much the guys in the outfit hated me. Well, not as much as I hated them, of course.
  • Twelve days of Christmas! One day of Christmas is loathsome enough!
  • My mother, Ben, is a terrible woman. A terrible, terrible woman... You know, Ben, it's a terrible thing to hate your mother. But I didn't always hate her. When I was a child, I only kind of disliked her. But after what she did to Jocie and me, that's when I began to hate her... Jocie Jordan - Senator Jordan's daughter... Thomas Jordan's daughter and Johnny Iselin's step-son... Years later, I realized, Ben, that I am not very loveable... Some people are loveable and some people are not loveable. I am not loveable. Oh, but I was very loveable with Jocie. Ben, you can't believe how loveable I was.
  • You just cannot believe, Ben, how loveable the whole damn thing was. All summer long, we were together. I was loveable, Jocie was loveable, the Senator was loveable, the days were loveable, the nights were loveable, and everybody was loveable - except, of course, my mother.
  • [Of his mother, Mrs. Iselin] She won, of course. She always does. I could never beat her. I still can't... I'm not loveable. But I loved her. I did love her. I do love her.
  • We flew to Maryland last night. We got married. We just got back...There we were, the Queen of Diamonds and me looking like, I don't know, like Gaucho Marx... Ben, I just made a joke. Not a very good joke, I admit, but a joke. Ben, in all the years that you've known me, have you ever heard me make a joke? Well, I just made one. Gaucho Marx! Me! Ha! Big day! Mark that down in your book. Raymond Shaw got married and he made a joke. Gaucho Marx.
  • Have you noticed that the human race is divided into two distinct, irreconciliable groups? Those who walk into rooms and automatically turn television sets on, and those who walk into rooms and automatically turn them off. You know, the problem is, they usually marry each other which naturally causes a great deal of...
  • [Of Sen. Iselin] I'm gonna beat that vile, slandering, son-of-a-numbskull to a bloody pulp.
  • [To Ben, after killing his mother and Senator Iselin] You couldn't have stopped them, the army couldn't have stopped them. So I had to.

Major Bennett "Ben" MarcoEdit

  • Intelligence officer. Stupidity officer is more like it. Pentagon wants to open a Stupidity Division, they know who they can get to lead it.
  • [Repeated line] Raymond Shaw is the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful human being I've ever known in my life.
  • [Hypnotized] I will make my report on the patrol... I will recommend urgently that Raymond Shaw be posted to the Medal of Honor. He saved our lives and took out a complete company of Chinese infantry.
  • I tell ya, there's something phony going on. There's something phony about me, about Raymond Shaw, about the whole Medal of Honor business... I said: 'Raymond Shaw is the kindest, warmest, bravest, most wonderful human being I've ever known in my life, and even now I feel that way - this minute. And yet, somewhere in the back of my mind, something tells me it's not true. It's just not true. It isn't as if Raymond's hard to like. He's impossible to like. In fact, he's probably one of the most repulsive human beings I've ever known in my whole - all of my life.
  • [Shouting, to Chunjin, as they fight] What was Raymond doing with his hands?... How did the old ladies turn into Russians?... What were you doing there?
  • [To Jocelyn Jordan] Raymond is sick, Mrs. Shaw, in a kind of a special way. He doesn't even realize it himself.
  • Raymond Shaw shot and killed his wife early this morning... It wasn't Raymond that really did it. In a way, it was me.
  • Remember, Raymond, the wires have been pulled. They can't touch you anymore. You're free.
  • [To Colonel Milt] I tell ya, there's a bomb here, a time bomb that's set waiting to go off.
  • I can see that Chinese cat standin' there smiling like Fu Manchu.
  • [Last lines] Poor Raymond. Poor friendless, friendless Raymond. He was wearing his medal when he died. You should read some of the citations sometime. Just read them. [Reading from U.S. Army book of Medal of Honor citations] Taken, eight prisoners, killing four enemy in the process while one leg and one arm was shattered and he could only crawl because the other leg had been blown off - Edwards. Wounded five times, dragged himself across the direct fire of three enemy machine guns to pull two of his wounded men to safety amid sixty-nine dead and two hundred and three casualties - Holderman. [Puts book down] Made to commit acts too unspeakable to be cited here by an enemy who had captured his mind and his soul, he freed himself at last and in the end, heroically and unhesitatingly gave his life to save his country. Raymond Shaw... Hell... Hell. [Thunder claps].

NarratorEdit

  • This nation jealously guards its highest award for valor - the Congressional Medal of Honor. In the Korean War, with five million, seven hundred and twenty thousand personnel engaged, only seventy-seven men were so honored. One of these seventy-seven men was Staff Sergeant Raymond Shaw. Raymond Shaw was returned from combat and flown directly to Washington to be decorated personally by the President of the United States. This is why his presence, or the presence of any Medal of Honor winner is sufficient to bring generals to their feet saluting.
  • On the afternoon of his arrival in Washington, Raymond Shaw was decorated at the White House by the President of the United States. His citation attested to by his commanding officer, Captain Bennett Marco, and the nine surviving members of his patrol, read in part: 'Displaying valor above and beyond the call of duty did single-handedly save the lives of nine members of his patrol, capturing an enemy machine gun nest and taking out in the process a full company of enemy infantry. He then proceeded to lead his patrol which had been listed as missing in action for three days back through the enemy lines to safety.'
  • The war in Korea was over. Captain, now Major Bennett Marco had been reassigned to Army Intelligence in Washington. It was, by and large, a pleasant assignment, except for one thing. Night after night, the Major was plagued by the same re-occurring nightmare.

Doctor Yen LoEdit

  • Allow me to introduce our American visitors. I must ask you to forgive their somewhat lackadaisical manners, but I have conditioned them - or brain-washed them, which I understand is the new American word. They believe that they are waiting out a storm in the lobby of a small hotel in New Jersey where a meeting of the ladies' garden club is in progress.
  • Ah, yes. Yak dung...tastes good. Like a cigarette should.
  • I am sure you've all heard the old wives' tale that no hypnotized subject may be forced to do that which is repellant to his moral nature, whatever that may be. Nonsense, of course.
  • [To Raymond] Do you realize, Comrade, the implications of the weapon that has been placed at your disposal?... A normally-conditioned American, who has been trained to kill and then to have no memory of having killed. Without memory of his deed, he cannot possibly feel guilt. Nobody, of course, has any reason to fear being caught. Having been relieved of those uniquely American symptoms, guilt and fear, he cannot possibly give himself away. Ah, now Raymond will remain an outwardly-normal, productive, sober, and respected member of the community. And I should say, if properly used, entirely police-proof.
  • Why don't you pass the time by playing a little solitaire?
  • His brain has not only been washed, as they say, it's been dry-cleaned.
  • The Queen of Diamonds is reminiscent in many ways of Raymond's dearly loved and hated mother and is the second key to clear the mechanism for any other assignment.

Mrs. IselinEdit

  • [repeated line, to Raymond] Why don't you pass the time with a game of solitaire?
  • Raymond, if we were at war, and you were suddenly to become infatuated with the daughter of a Russian agent, wouldn't you expect me to come to you and object, and beg you to stop the entire thing before it was too late? Well we are at war. It's a Cold War, but it will get worse and worse until every man, woman, and child in this country will have to stand up and be counted, to say whether they are on the side of right and freedom or on the side of the Thomas Jordans of this country. I will go with you to Washington, tomorrow if you like, and I will show you documented proof that this man stands for evil, that he is evil, and that his whole life is devoted to undermining everything that you and I and Johnny, and every freedom-minded American—
  • [To her husband, Sen. Iselin] It has occurred to me that Tom Jordan's daughter Jocelyn... so I might have been a little hasty. Anyway, times change. I now think she would make Raymond an excellent wife. She's been living in Paris for the past two years. I have word she'll be coming home soon and when she does, I think we should give a little party.
  • [To Sen. Iselin] I keep telling you not to think. You're very, very good at a great many things, but thinking, hon', just simply isn't one of them. You just keep shouting "Point of Order, Point of Order" into the television cameras and I will handle the rest.
  • [To Raymond] It's been decided that you will be dressed as a priest to get away in the pandemonium afterwards. Chunjin will give you a two-piece Soviet Army's sniper's rifle that fits nicely into a special bag. There's a spotlight booth that won't be in use. It's up under the roof on the 8th Avenue side of the Garden. You will have absolutely clear, protected shooting. You are to shoot the Presidential nominee through the head. And Johnny will rise gallantly to his feet and lift Ben Arthur's body in his arms, stand in front of the microphones and begin to speak. The speech is short, but it's the most rousing speech I've ever read. It's been worked on here and in Russia on and off for over eight years. I shall force someone to take the body away from him. And Johnny will leave those microphones and those cameras with blood all over him, fighting off anyone who tries to help him, defending America even if it means his own death, rallying a nation of television-viewers into hysteria to sweep us up into the White House with powers that will make martial law seem like anarchy. Now this is very important. I want the nominee to be dead about two minutes after he begins his acceptance speech, depending on his reading time under pressure. You are to hit him right at the point that he finishes the phrase, "nor would I ask of any fellow American in defense of his freedom that which I would not gladly give myself - my life before my liberty." Is that absolutely clear?
  • I know you will never entirely comprehend this, Raymond, but you must believe I did not know it would be you. I served them. I fought for them. I'm on the point of winning for them the greatest foothold they would ever have in this country. And they paid me back by taking your soul away from you. I told them to build me an assassin. I wanted a killer from a world filled with killers and they chose you because they thought it would bind me closer to them. [She places the sides of his face in her outstretched hands.] But now, we have come almost to the end. One last step. And then when I take power, they will be pulled down and ground into dirt for what they did to you. And what they did in so contemptuously under-estimating me.

Senator John Yerkes IselinEdit

  • I have here a list of the names of 207 persons who are known by the Secretary of Defense as being members of the Communist Party... I demand an answer, Mr. Secretary. There will be no covering up, sir, no covering up. You are not going to get your hands on this list. And I deeply regret having to say...
  • [To party guests, after cutting into a serving of caviar styled like the American flag] It's all right, it's Polish caviar!

Joycelyn "Jocie" JordanEdit

  • [Of Raymond] He's tied up inside in a thousand knots. I know that but... You've got to believe me and trust me. I can make him well.

OtherEdit

  • Psychiatrist: Human fish, swimming at the bottom of the great ocean of atmosphere, develop psychic injuries as they collide with one another. Most mortal of all are those gotten from the parent fish.
  • Secretary of Defense: Since no great naval power menaces the free world today, the Navy's overwhelming preponderance of surface ships seems to be superfluous, hence the cuts in budget.
  • Bartender: [overheard by Raymond, who had just primed himself to receive a command by dealing the Queen of Diamonds] Why don't you go and take yourself a cab and go up to Central Park and go jump in the lake?
  • Rosie: [To Ben] ...You were a pretty solid type yourself, according to Washington - with whom they had apparently checked. So I figured if they were willing to go to all the trouble to get a comment on you out of George Washington, why - you must be somebody very important indeed. And I must say it was rather sweet of the General with you only a Major. I didn't even know you knew him. If they were the tiniest bit puzzled about you, they could have asked me. Oh yes, indeed, my darling Ben. They could have asked me and I would have told them. [They kiss]
  • Senator Thomas Jordan: [To Raymond] I once found it necessary to sue your mother for defamation of character and slander... One of your mother's more endearing traits is her tendency to refer to anyone who disagrees with her about anything as a Communist.
  • Senator Thomas Jordan: [To Mrs. Iselin] I despise John Iselin and everything that Iselin-ism has come to stand for. I think if John Iselin were a paid Soviet agent, he could not do more to harm this country than he's doing now.
  • TV News Broadcast: ...Jocelyn Jordan, daughter of Senator Thomas Jordan and Korean war hero Raymond Shaw, step-son of Senator John Iselin. It appears, however, that this Montague-Capulet note would have little effect on the feud now raging between the two party leaders. From his campaign headquarters this morning, Senator Iselin stepped up his charges against the leader of the group attempting to block his nomination.

DialogueEdit

Mrs. Whittaker: Tell me Raymond, have you ever killed anyone?
Raymond: No, ma'am.
Mrs. Whittaker: Not even in combat?
Raymond: In combat? Yes, ma'am, I think so.
Yen Lo: Of course you have, Raymond. Raymond has been a crack shot since childhood -
Mrs. Whittaker: A marvelous outlet for his aggressions.

Rosie: Maryland's a beautiful state.
Ben: [Looking away] This is Delaware.
Rosie: I know. I was one of the original Chinese workmen who laid the track on this stretch. But nonetheless, Maryland is a beautiful state. So is Ohio, for that matter. [Lights her own cigarette.]
Ben: I guess so. Columbus is a tremendous football town. You in the railroad business?
Rosie: Not anymore. However, if you will permit me to point out, when you ask that question you really should say, 'Are you in the railroad line?' Where's your home?
Ben: I'm in the Army. I'm a major. I've been in the Army most of my life. We move a good deal. I was born in New Hampshire.
Rosie: I went to a girls' camp once on Lake Francis.
Ben: That's pretty far north.
Rosie: Yeah.
Ben: What's your name?
Rosie: Eugenie.
Ben: [Finally looks at her] Pardon?
Rosie: No kidding, I really mean it. Crazy French pronunciation and all.
Ben: [Looks away] It's pretty.
Rosie: Well, thank you.
Ben: I guess your friends call you Jenny.
Rosie: Not yet they haven't, for which I am deeply grateful. But you may call me Jenny.
Ben: What do your friends call you?
Rosie: Rosie.
Ben: [Looks at her] Why?
Rosie: My full name is Eugenie Rose. (He looks away) Of the two names, I've always favored Rosie because it smells of brown soap and beer. Eugenie is somehow more fragile.
Ben: Still, when I asked you what your name was, you said it was Eugenie.
Rosie: It's quite possible I was feeling more or less fragile at that instant.
Ben: I could never figure out what that phrase meant: more or less. (He looks at her) You Arabic?
Rosie: No.
Ben: [Reaches to shake her hand] My name is Ben, really Bennett. Named after Arnold Bennett.
Rosie: The writer?
Ben: No, a lieutenant colonel who was my father's commanding officer at the time.
Rosie: What's your last name?
Ben: Marco.
Rosie: Major Marco. Are you Arabic?
Ben: No, no.
Rosie: Let me put it another way. Are you married?
Ben: No. You?
Rosie: No.
Ben: What's your last name?
Rosie: Chaney. I'm a production assistant for a man named Justin, who had two hits last season. I live on 54th Street, a few doors from the modern museum of art, of which I'm a tea-privileges member, no cream. I live at 53 West 54th Street, Apartment 3B. Can you remember that?
Ben: Yes.
Rosie: ELdorado 5-9970. Can you remember that?
Ben: Yes.
Rosie: Are you stationed in New York? Or is stationed the right word?
Ben: I'm not exactly stationed in New York. I was stationed in Washington, but I got sick, and now I'm on leave, and I'm going to spend it in New York.
Rosie: ELdorado 5-9970.
Ben: I'm gonna look up an old friend of mine who's a newspaper man. We were in Korea together.

Sen. Iselin: 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 an idiot." She holds up a newspaper and proclaims:
Mrs. Iselin: Well, you're going to look like an even bigger idiot if you don't get in there and do exactly what you're told...Who are they writing about all over this country and what are they saying? Are they saying: "Are there any Communists in the Defense Department?" No, of course not, they're saying: "How many Communists are there in the Defense Department?" So just stop talking like an expert all of a sudden and get out there and say what you're supposed to say.

Mrs. Iselin: Would it really make it easier for you if we settled on just one number?
Sen. Iselin: Yeah. Just one, real, simple number that'd be easy for me to remember.
[Mrs. Iselin watches Sen. Iselin pour Heinz Tomato Ketchup (with its "57 Varieties" slogan on its label) onto his dinner plate]
[Cut to Senate chamber]
Sen. Iselin: There are exactly 57 card-carrying members of the Communist Party in the Department of Defense at this time!

[At Ben's request, Raymond is playing solitaire - with a deck of 52 Queens of Diamonds's]
Ben: All right, let's start unlocking a few doors. Let's begin with the patrol. You didn't save our lives and take out an enemy company or anything like that, did you Raymond, did you?
Raymond: No.
Ben: What happened?
Raymond: The patrol was taken by a Russian Airborne Unit and flown by helicopter across the Manchurian border to a place called Tomwa. We were worked on for three days by a team of specialists from the Pavlov Institute in Moscow. They developed a technique for descent into the unconscious mind, part light-induced, part drug—
Ben: Never mind all that. Not now. Tell me what else happened at Tomwa.
Raymond: We were drilled for three days. We were made to memorize the details of the imaginary action... And I strangled Ed Mavole and shot Bobby Lembeck.
Ben: One red Queen works pretty good. Let's see what we get with two of 'em. Keep playing.
Raymond: Then I killed Mr. Gaines. It was just a test. It didn't matter who I killed. They picked him to see if all the linkages still worked before they turned me over to my American operator. That business about jumping in the lake - it really did happen. It was an accident. Something somebody said in the bar accidentally triggered it.
Ben: Keep playing!
Raymond: Then I killed Senator Jordan and after that...
Ben: You are to forget everything that happened at the Senator's house. Do you understand, Raymond? You'll only remember it when I tell you so. You are to forget about it. Do you understand?
Raymond: Yes sir.
Ben: Now, Raymond. Now the big one. Why, why is all of this being done? What have they built you to do?
Raymond: I don't know. I don't think anybody really knows except Berezovo in Moscow and my American operator here. But whatever it is, it's supposed to happen soon, right at the convention. Maybe, [pause], I don't know. They can make me do anything, Ben, can't they? Anything.
Ben: We'll see, kid, we'll see what they can do and we'll see what we can do. So the red Queen is our baby. Well, take a look at this, kid... and while you're looking, listen. This is me, Marco talking. Fifty-two red Queens and me are telling you - you know what we're telling you? - it's over. The links, the beautifully-conditioned links are smashed. They're smashed as of now because we say so, because we say they ought to be smashed. We're bustin' up the joint, we're tearin' out all the wires, we're bustin' it up so good all the Queen's horses and all the Queen's men will never put ol' Raymond back together again. You don't work anymore. That's an order. Anybody invites you to a game of solitaire - you tell 'em: "Sorry, buster, the ball-game is over!"

General: Congratulations, son. How do you feel?
Raymond: Like Captain Idiot in Astounding Science comics.

Chairlady: You will notice that I have told them they may smoke. I've allowed my people to have a little fun in the selection of bizarre tobacco substitutes... Are you enjoying your cigarette, Ed?
Ed Movole: Yes ma'am.
Dr. Yen Lo: Yak dung!... hope tastes good - like a cigarette should!

Jocie: Darling.
[Pause]
Raymond: What?
Jocie: Nothing, Just... Darling.

Col. Milt: [Gesturing towards a pile of books] You read them all?
Ben: Yeah, they also make great insulation against an enemy attack! But the, uh, truth of the matter is that I'm just interested, you know, in, uh, Principles of Modern Banking and, History of Piracy. [Picking up books] Paintings of Orozco. Modern French Theater. The... Jurisprudential Factor of Mafia Administration. Diseases of Horses and novels of Joyce Cary and... Ethnic Choices of the Arabs. Things like that.

Dr. Yen Lo: Attractive plant you have here.
Zilkov: Thank you, doctor. It's actually a rest home for wealthy alcoholics. We were able to purchase it three years ago. Except for this floor and the floor above it, which is sealed off for security purposes, the rest functions quite normally. In fact it's one of the few Soviet operations in America that actually showed a profit at the end of the last fiscal year.
Dr. Yen Lo: Profit? Fiscal year? Tsk! Tsk! Tsk! Beware, my dear Zilkov, fires of capitalism are highly infectious. Soon you'll be lending money out at interest. [Chuckles] You must try, Comrade Zilkov, to cultivate a sense of humor. There's nothing like a good laugh now and then to lighten the burdens of the day. [To Raymond] Tell me, Raymond, do you remember murdering Mavole and Lembeck?

TaglinesEdit

  • When you've seen it all, you'll swear there's never been anything like it!
  • This is the man they all said is the warmest, kindest, most wonderful human being they ever knew!
  • After you've felt its shock you'll swear there's never been anything like it!
  • Once unbelievable. Now unthinkable. The chilling classic returns. [re-release]

CastEdit

External linksEdit