Talk:The Manchurian Candidate (movie 2004)

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relocating large extract from an article published elsewhere--Bob Burton 19:51, 2 Feb 2005 (EST)

Maureen Farrell comments in her May 18, 2004, BuzzFlash article "Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and the Manchurian Candidate,"

"More than 40 years ago, ... United Artists was nervous about releasing The Manchurian Candidate because, as screen writer George Axelrod put it, 'They didn't want to make it because they thought that it was un-American.'"
"A wildly imaginative political thriller which sprang from Richard Condon's 1959 best-selling novel, The Manchurian Candidate is the story of a brainwashed military veteran who unwittingly becomes a programmed assassin to further the political ambitions of his cold and manipulative mother. 'Ironically,'" the Washington Post revealed, 'it was a phone call from President John F. Kennedy -- made at [Frank] Sinatra's request -- that persuaded Arthur Krim, then head of United Artists and also the national finance chairman of the Democratic Party, to change his mind and start production."
"First released in 1962, using the Cold War as a backdrop (and then taken out of release for decades following JFK's 1963 assassination), the film has been remade under the direction of Jonathan Demme and will hit theaters on July 30. Now set during the first Gulf War era, the new version stars Denzel Washington as Capt./Maj. Bennett Marco (Sinatra's role in the original) and Liev Schreiber as SSgt. Raymond Shaw (this time as a Gulf War veteran instead of the Korean war hero original cast member Laurence Harvey played). Meryl Streep, cast as Mrs. Iselinin (the role that Angela Lansbury made unforgettable), has disclosed that to prepare for her role as Raymond's evil dragon mother, she watched a string of political talk shows. 'Anything with Peggy Noonan [or] Karen P. Hughes,' Streep told Entertainment Weekly. 'It's hard to get more hyperbolic than that.'
"When you peek beneath the Manchurian Candidate's fascinating plotline, however, you learn that it is not 'just a movie,' but is based upon actual cases of government-sponsored brainwashing, torture, Nazi collaboration, bizarre interrogation tactics, biological warfare and cover-ups. And though such an assessment sounds like paranoid lunacy, a quick study of CIA operations like MK-ULTRA (mind control), Operation ARTICHOKE (extreme interrogation) and Operation Paperclip (the Nazis' role in exporting both), along with their connection to the murder of Dr. Frank Olson, reveals otherwise."
"Reminiscent of the untiring battle the Sept. 11 widows have been waging to try to unearth the truth about 9/11 inconsistencies and the stand Nick Berg's family has taken to draw attention to the Bush administration's lies regarding Nick's detention by U.S. authorities, Frank Olson's family was courageous and tireless. Eric Olson, who earned a Ph.D. in psychology from Harvard, became mesmerized by subjects such as brainwashing, survivor psychology and Nazi experiments on humans, which he rightly sensed, had something to do with his father's demise.
"In 2002, all of the pieces fell into place. Dr. Frank Olson, it was discovered, ran the Special Operations Division at Fort Detrick, which, in addition to dealing with anthrax and mind control research, was involved in 'assassinations materials research,' 'biological warfare experiments in populated areas' and 'terminal interrogations.' Dr. Olson did not commit suicide due to a nervous breakdown, as the family was originally told, nor did he commit suicide because of a reaction to LSD, as they were told in 1975. Dr. Olson, who was posthumously outed as a CIA agent, was simply a man who knew too much."
"... once you absorb the hidden history behind the Manchurian Candidate and compare that with today's headlines, you can't help but feel that this is one of the weirdest moments in modern history. And, to make matters weirder, Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11 (movie 2004) (which also hit a bump along the distribution road) promises to draw attention to everything from Iraq-related lies to Bush and bin Laden-related oddities." [1]