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Cold War red-baiting in Manchurian Candidate

by Critical Commons Manager

At the time The Manchurian Candidate was released in 1962 (which happened to be during the Cuban Missile Crisis), the image of Senator Joseph McCarthy dominating American political discourse via televised investigations of communism in the government and entertainment industries would have been all-too-fresh in the minds of cinema audiences. The McCarthy-esque, dim-witted demagogue of a U.S. Senator Johnny Iselin played by James Gregory performs a perverse revision of McCarthyism as a deliberately destructive Communist plot, the denunciation of which requires an equally paranoid vision of Soviet and Chinese Communism somehow working together to attempt to gain control of the American presidency.

Joseph McCarthy is remediated as a Communist dupe in The Manchurian Candidate

Part parody, part scathing indictment, a McCarthy-esque puppet rises to national prominence through red-baiting

from The Manchurian Candidate (1962)
Creator: John Frankenheimer
Distributor: MGM/UA
Posted by Critical Commons Manager