Here is the latest in a series of examinations into urban legends about movies and whether they are true or false. Click here to view an archive of the movie urban legends featured so far.
MOVIE URBAN LEGEND: Frank Sinatra kept the Manchurian Candidate under wraps for years in the wake of the Kennedy Assassination.
The Manchurian Candidate is about a United States soldier (played by Lawrence Harvey) who is brainwashed in an attempt to get him to assassinate a Presidential candidate, allowing the Vice-Presidential candidate (who is controlled by the Communists) to take over control of the party and run the United States FOR the Communists (and be the “Manchurian Candidate” that the title refers to).
Frank Sinatra plays a fellow soldier who does his best to stop this plan. Angela Lansbury is magnificent as the evil mother of Harvey.
The film was released in October of 1962.
A little more than one year later, the President of the United States, John F. Kennedy, was assassinated.
It has long been said that Frank Sinatra got a hold of the film rights and then squashed the film until the late 1980s in honor of the President. In fact, it was said that he got the rights specifically TO squash the film.
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