Released 1962 (USA)
American, in English
Director - John Frankenheimer
Stars - Frank Sinatra, Laurence Harvey, Angela Lansbury
Returned Korean War vet and Medal of Honor winner Raymond Shaw (Harvey) has been unknowingly brainwashed by Communists. His former commander, Major Bennett Marco (Sinatra), is on a mission to stop him before he hurts anyone. Lansbury co-stars as Raymond’s mother, Eleanor Shaw Iselin, wife of a U.S. senator.
Fairly graphic violence; implied sexy times.
[SPOILER sort of]
The relationship between Marco and his girlfriend Eugenie Rose (Janet Leigh) is so awkward, bizarre, and rushed (seriously, their conversations make virtually no sense) that I spent the whole movie convinced that she was secretly a Communist spy. She’s not. If the movie’s intent was to make me suspect her, then it did a good job, but I don't think that was the intent.
I hated the score.
The fight scene between Marco and Chunjin (Henry Silva), Raymond’s man servant, is laughably terrible.
The acting is soooooo good from practically everyone. I would say that Leigh is the exception while Lansbury is the standout.
It’s really intense in the best kind of way.
It takes a lot for a movie surprise me, and this one did several times. I tip my hat toward it.
It’s really good. I honestly can’t say enough good things about it. Great acting, interesting story, suspense and tension all the way through, and dark in a way that I appreciated. It’s also a fascinating time capsule of anti-Communist sentiment. I was a child in the 1980s, so I experienced some of that. When I grew up, the bad guys in movies were almost always either Nazis or Communists, and I remember things like our elementary school singing teacher telling us that we had to learn the national anthem in case we ever needed to prove we weren’t Soviet agents (weird, I know). As prevalent as the “Red Scare” still was in the 80s, however, it wasn’t anything like how it was in the 50s and early 60s, so I almost felt like an anthropologist while watching this. However, I do wonder if anyone born after the fall of the USSR could relate. Overall, it’s a great film that everyone should see at least once.
I give it 4.25 stars.