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Manchurian Candidate was not pulled from distribution for 26 years.


clore
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It aired on the CBS network in September 1965 and was repeated later in the season. It showed up again on network TV on NBC in 1974 and 1975.

 

Somehow the myth that Sinatra pulled it from distribution has perpetuated but a "Films In Review" article in 1988 debunked all of that and having seen it twice on TV personally, I can attest to two of those airings.

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Wow, now this is interesting! Ya see, I had heard Sinatra HAD attempted to pull a movie from distribution that he was in, but THIS wasn't it!

 

Nope, I had heard it was *The Kissing Bandit*...and of course for obvious reasons!!! ;)

 

(...sorry clore, I couldn't resist that one...actually I must admit I'm one of folks who had believed this myth...thanks for the correction)

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(...sorry clore, I couldn't resist that one...actually I must admit I'm one of folks who had believed this myth...thanks for the correction)

 

You're quite welcome. Another one that Sinatra should have pulled from distribution is JOHNNY CONCHO, where he's as out of place in the American west as he was south of the border. I once mentioned to his co-star William Conrad that I had seen it and he laughed, telling me that he's never met anyone who admitted to seeing it.

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I saw it when it first came out and about the only thing I remember from it was Frank screaming "You Lie" when he was told his brother had been killed. That and I seem to remember a trick holster that was spring loaded and snapped open . At least I think I remember that....

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The real howler was Bob Osborne's contention that the casting of Angela Lansbury was some kind of coup on Frank Sinatra's part.

 

Nothing could be further from the truth.

 

In fact, director John Frankenheimer had to use every manner of persuasion he could muster to talk an adamant Sinatra out of his personal choice for the role of Eleanor Iselin: Lucille Ball (which is actually rather fascinating; were it the smart and sassy Lucy of her early movies, it might've worked, but I don't think anything could have erased the image of wacky Lucy Ricardo from the minds of a generation of TV viewers).

 

No, Lansbury was entirely Frankenheimer's idea, and I, for one, am eternally glad that his vision prevailed. The moment when Eleanor gives Raymond his orders to assassinate Arthur Benjamin and then seals it with that full-on-the-mouth kiss is, in my opinion, the scariest and creepiest single moment ever put on film.

 

I, for one, am sick and tired of the misinformation Osborne and his writers are dispensing on TCM. They do far more harm than good, as most viewers will take what he mouths at face value and never question it, which will only serve to perpetuate these fallacies.

 

In the name of truth and common decency, stop, Bob. Stop.

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I thought the story was it was pulled after it's tv showings? I do remember it being shown on tv in the 60s. I also remember the hoopla when it was released into theaters in the 80s saying it had not been available. Maybe the time frame is wrong

 

RO didnt say it was a coup on Frank Sinatra's part about Lansbury. He said Frankenheimer wanted her, not Sinatra (initially). I too, dont feel the public would have accepted Ball in that role and would've sabotaged the film............

 

Edited by: Hibi on Jan 19, 2012 9:00 AM

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Since you opened the door, here goes.... RO and Baldwin were discussing MY FAVORITE YEAR, and Baldwin uttered the statement that O'Toole had never before been in a comedy prior to MY FAVORITE YEAR. RO corrected him by saying that he had, but they were relatively unknown films (my own words). .....Are WHAT'S NEW PUSSYCAT? and HOW TO STEAL A MILLION relatively unknown films?

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Are WHAT'S NEW PUSSYCAT? and HOW TO STEAL A MILLION relatively unknown films?

 

What about THE RULING CLASS - were we supposed to take that seriously? Or GREAT CATHERINE, clips of which even appear in MY FAVORITE YEAR.

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I thought the story was it was pulled after it's tv showings?

 

It was apparently pulled after the showings in the 70s, but the researchers had Osborne specifically cite that it had been withdrawn for 26 years, from its initial release year to the late 80s revival.

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Actually Sprocket, I think Lucy would have been great in the Lansbury part, and here's why:

 

Lucille Ball, from all accounts, was an extremely driven and controlling person in "real life" and really not all that humorous a person whenever out of character, and by these same accounts, became even more so as she aged.

 

 

And thus, with these personally traits, she wouldn't have had to "stretch" all that much to play the character of Eleanor Iselin at that particular time of her life and career.

 

 

The only problem I see in this regard would've or might have been the reaction of early 1960's audiences who would've possibly only known of the Lucy they knew from the previous decade of zany sitcoms and motion picture comedies.

 

 

Yep, it might've been a similar kind of "thing" such as that other myth about how scenes featuring George Reeves in *From Here to Eternity* were supposedly cut from that film after a supposed preview screening of it and because many members of a supposed audience started to murmur "Superman" during his time on the scene. And so, maybe that's the reason Frankenheimer wasn't "hip" to the idea of Lucy playing the part.

 

 

(...just a theory)

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I saw *Candidate* at the show as a kid, but not on TV for years until TCM started showing it. But I DO recall it being in TV listings over the years before that, so this "pulled from distribution" claim didn't sit right with me, either.

 

 

Lucille Ball's appearance in that movie would have had the same affect I mentioned earlier in another thread that haunted Max Baer Jr. Although he did a fine turn in an otherwise forgettable *Macon County Line*, I think it was called, I DID keep expecting him to utter "Heck FIRE" in one of the scenes. Other people I know who had seen it thought of Jethro trying to add "Sherrif" to his list of career choices of brain surgeon and double naught spy.

 

 

It was my understanding that while Desi Arnaz was quite the early television innovator; live audience at the set, filming the episodes as if filming a movie, foreseeing the possibility of "syndication" and such, most of the "hard line" business deals were pulled off by Lucy which made Desilu a force to be rekoned with in the early days of television. For years it seemed the wasn't much on TV that WASN'T a "Desilu production".

 

 

Sepiatone

 

 

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> {quote:title=DougieB wrote:}{quote}Maybe there was some confusion between this movie and "Suddenly", which I believe was pulled after the Kennedy assassination.

That may well be as I can recall that there were claims that Oswald watched this film not long before that day in Dallas. Yet, I can recall seeing it on local NYC TV around 1967. But I don't recall seeing it listed for quite a few years after that until it fell into public domain and then it was all over the place, including a colorized version.

 

But the legend about THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE has been around for some time, at least 30 years. I recall that I sent a letter to either VIDEO or VIDEO REVIEW in 1983 when they had a reference to it and at the time I had access to the dates for all four network runs and the Nielsen ratings for each.

 

 

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Hey clore, it didn't happen to come as a two VHS set with *The Parallax View*, did it?!

 

You know, as some kinda in-depth "How To Guide" for all those crazed potential political assassins out there among us!

 

(...yeah, there's another one I just couldn't resist...sorry!)

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> {quote:title=Dargo wrote:

> }{quote}Actually Sprocket, I think Lucy would have been great in the Lansbury part

>

>

I think you're right, Dargo. The question is: would the audience have bought her in the part. The fact is stars get turned down for parts all the time because the filmmakers feel he or she brings too much "baggage" with them: the audience gets thrown out of the story when certain stars play roles that don't fit their (the audience's) image of that star. So I agree with you that she would've been great in the part but, like you said, it might have been a distraction because we'd be waiting for her to do a pratfall or say something funny. And like you, I would bet this is one reason Frankenheimer didn't want to cast her.

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Yep Monty. And in the same vein, don't you, as I do, feel that if Elia Kazan had made *A Face in the Crowd* just a decade later, there would have been a lot less likelihood he would've cast Andy Griffith in it?

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> {quote:title=Dargo wrote:}{quote}Hey clore, it didn't happen to come as a two VHS set with *The Parallax View*, did it?!

>

> You know, as some kinda in-depth "How To Guide" for all those crazed potential political assassins out there among us!

>

THE PARALLAX VIEW could also be considered a primer for reporters on how NOT to cover a story.

 

As an aside, one film that has always amazed me is the original DAY OF THE JACKAL which builds incredible suspense despite our knowing that history already makes it impossible for him to complete his objective.

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> {quote:title=Dargo wrote:}{quote}Yep Monty. And in the same vein, don't you, as I do, feel that if Elia Kazan had made *A Face in the Crowd* just a decade later, there would have been a lot less likelihood he would've cast Andy Griffith in it?

I most definitely agree, Dargo. The sheriff of Mayberry would never be that devious & manipulative. It reminds me of when I saw Ed O'Neill playing Popeye Doyle in one of the French Connection sequals. Ed O'Neill played Al Bundy in MARRIED WITH CHILDREN. Before that, he was in the aforementioned sequal. When I watched it, I couldn't help but laughing. I kept waiting for him to accidentally shoot himself or lose his car keys or something. Imagine Don Knotts playing Dirty Harry & that's about what it's like. And it's really not fair to Ed O'Neill that he carries around that baggage. I'm sure he's a fine actor.

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> {quote:title=DougieB wrote:}{quote}Maybe there was some confusion between this movie and "Suddenly", which I believe was pulled after the Kennedy assassination.

 

 

As the story goes, Sinatra tried to buy up the rights to SUDDENLY with the intention of destroying the negative and all prints. That didn't happen, although the film was not seen for many years, eventually it resurfaced and fell into public domain.

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> RO and Baldwin were discussing MY FAVORITE YEAR, and Baldwin uttered the statement that O'Toole had never before been in a comedy prior to MY FAVORITE YEAR. RO corrected him by saying that he had, but they were relatively unknown films (my own words).

O'Toole also co-stars in a little comedy called HOW TO STEAL A MILLION, "relatively unknown" due to his having to share the screen with some long-forgotten actress named Audrey Hepburn, and its having being made by some obscure journeyman director by the name of William Wyler.

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LOL. Sorry I missed that howler. Both How to Steal A Million and What's New Pussycat were probably bigger hits at the box office than My Favorite Year. Maybe young people today arent that aware of them, but certainly older audiences were/are.........

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