To Orwell Today,

Years ago I rented the VHS of the original Manchurian Candidate movie from Blockbuster. At the end of the movie was an interview with JFK and he was discussing this movie. The copy I bought later did not have this interview. I cannot seem to locate a copy with the interview. Do you know about the interview and what copy had it on?


Greetings Tara,

No, I haven't seen a version of the original Manchurian Candidate movie that has a JFK interview at the end. The VHS I own just has interviews with the star Frank Sinatra, the producer George Axelrod and the director John Frankenheimer. Their discussion took place sixteen years after the 1962 movie, ie in 1978. But JFK's name is mentioned by Frankenheimer who says that United Artists, a year before the movie's release, was "scared" to make it because they thought it was "anti-Russian" but that Sinatra had "just come down from Hyannis Port where he saw the President" whose only comment when learning about Sinatra's next movie - Manchurian Candidate - was to say, "Great, who plays the mother?". (JFK had read the book.)

Then Sinatra chips in by saying "President Kennedy was really interested in the factions of the project".

Personally, I have doubts that Sinatra visited JFK at Hyannis Port in 1961 because by that time JFK had learned, from Bobby, about Sinatra's connections to the Mafia and wanted nothing to do with him. Sinatra and other Hollywood types had previously moved into the outer edges of the Kennedy circle through JFK's sister marrying Peter Lawford, a Sinatra buddy. Sinatra was apparently quite hurt that his invitations and extensions of friendship had been rejected by JFK after he'd been allowed to play at one of the Inauguration Balls.

A few years ago (as mentioned elsewhere on the website) I learned that Frankenheimer was not only indirectly connected to JFK's assassination (through the similarities in Manchurian Candidate) but also to RFK's assassination (through the fact that RFK slept at his house the night before he was assassinated and also it was Frankenheimer who drove him to the place where he was assassinated (the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles).

I have since learned other coincidental facts about Frankenheimer. He was a very good friend of LBJ (who became president after JFK was assassinated) and directed the made-for-tv movie PATH TO WAR which aired a couple of years ago and portrayed LBJ as absolutely hating Bobby Kennedy and fearing he'd lose to him in 1968's election. Also, I recently learned that Frankenheimer directed the movie SEVEN DAYS IN MAY (another book JFK had read) which was about the take-over of the USA government by the military-industrial complex.

All the best,
Jackie Jura

To Orwell Today,

Thanks for the response. I was hoping that perhaps you might have seen this movie with the JFK interview on it. I feel like a part of history was erased.

Yes, you are right, LBJ did not like the Kennedys.

- Tara


Jackie Jura
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