Director John Frankenheimer's controversial 1962 film, "The Manchurian Candidate," may finally be seen commercially again. United Artists and Frank Sinatra, who played an Army officer in the thriller about political assassination, co-own the picture and have kept it out of circulation since 1972, reportedly because its plot seemed too close to real-life events.
But they've given permission for it to be shown at this year's New York Film Festival, which begins Friday, and it was a quick sell-out. UA and Sinatra are reportedly considering a general rerelease, pending reactions to two screenings: next Sunday and Oct. 7.
The film is based on Richard Condon's novel and stars the late Laurence Harvey as a brainwashed Korean War hero who returns home triggered to assassinate a liberal politician. Also featured are Janet Leigh and Angela Lansbury, who earned an Oscar nomination for her performance as the vet's vicious mother.
Sinatra OK'd the festival showing through his attorney and a UA spokesman confirmed that the studio is "actively pursuing conversations (with Sinatra reps) about rerelease of the film."