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The movie-making industry is inseparable from the political and historical conditions, in which it operates. Even fantastic movies and horrors cannot escape the dramatic influence of historical and political realities. The Manchurian Candidate was first created in 1962. Featuring Frank Sinatra, the movie was a compound product of multiple historical, social, and technical influences. The fear of Communism, the rapid spread of McCarthyism, and the Cold War altogether contributed to the development of a sophisticated vision of war, which, taking place thousands of miles from the American continent, profoundly alters the American political landscape.
On the social background, an evolutionary nature of a social role a woman plays in the society is evident. At first, in the version of 1962 year, the main character was a manipulative woman, but there was no essential political influence of this heroine. In the version of 2004 year, this character becomes a Senator. Therefore, it is clearly seen that social factor has contributed greatly to the social accents set in the new version of the film. Moreover, there is a lack of sensual transfer of intimate relations between the main characters. Thus, for example, Lansbury’s character kissing Shaw inspires the audience and creates a romantic atmosphere. In the modern version there is no such kind of a romantic aura between the characters.
Political Differences-The concept of “fear” is integrative for both films. Two great powerful machines that are consuming contemporaries are presented with the same powerful manner: in the first version of the film there is an atmosphere of fear in the face of communism and in the second film the characters are afraid of being absorbed by a powerful corporate machine. Therefore, it is evident that historical events and periods of films’ creation influenced the main conceptual framework of both film versions. The influential and powerful factor of fear in the face of communism (in 1962 version) was substituted by another fear factor in the version of 2004. Another political factor that is rather controversial in the modern version is the way assassination is represented. A great emphasis is made on a “programmed nature” of assassinator’s mind. At this point we can see an intricate interconnection between political and technological factors. This interpretation of assassination is justified in the modern version as it is strongly backed up by the modern technological developments. Moreover, another explanation is provided. The matter of natural/unnatural changes of human behavior is explained in terms of technological advancements or as a result of mental disorders. This director’s intention can be interpreted in the following way: whether modern technologies are able to re-program human mind or not, the latter would be either way perverted by his own psycho. The Manchurian Candidate (1962) is probably one of the brightest and memorable products of the American moviemaking industry. Featuring Frank Sinatra, The Manchurian Candidate is a movie, where “the stepson of a presidential candidate turns out to have been a prisoner of war who underwent interrogation at the hands of Chinese communists” (Delgado 23). The soldier is brainwashed and programmed to assassin a Presidential Candidate.
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