The University of Iowa

‘Manchurian Candidate’ screening Feb. 24 in ‘Film After Noir’ series

February 18th, 2011

The “Film After Noir,” series (the Spring 2011 Proseminar in Cinema and Culture) continues this Thursday, Feb. 24, with a screening of Manchurian Candidate (1962, John Frankenheimer, 126 min), starting at 7 p.m. in 101 BCSB.

The Manchurian Candidate remains a unique political thriller that draws on noir elements to culminate a decade of Cold War anxiety films, including Panic in the Streets (dir.: Elian Kazan, 1950), Kiss Me Deadly (dir.: Robert Aldrich, 1955), and Invasion of the Body Snatchers (dir.: Don Siegel, 1956). In this case, the threat to the American republic reaches as far as the nuclear family.

Returning home in 1954 from the Korean War, Raymond Shaw (Laurence Harvey) is awarded the Medal of Honor for singlehandedly saving the lives of his entire platoon when they were captured by Communists in Korea. But soon his CO, Bennett Marco (Frank Sinatra) dreams of a more sinister scenario. Marco soon uncovers the rather unique relationship between Shaw and his mother, Eleanor Iselin (Angela Lansbury), who is the mastermind behind her husband’s ultra-conservative political career.

Based on a novel by Richard Condon, The Manchurian Candidate has been included in several American Film Institute’s Top 100 lists.

This film series focuses on films produced between 1950 and 2000 that display or revise elements of classic noir. All screenings are free and open to the public.

Steven Ungar, UI professor of French and Comparative Literature, will lead post-screening discussions.

The series is sponsored by UI International Programs, the Institute for Cinema and Culture and the Department of Cinema and Comparative Literature in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

For more information, contact Ungar at or 319-335-0330.