Richard Condon's novel had two runs in Hollywood, first, John Frankenheimer's 1962 version starring Frank Sinatra, Laurence Harvey and Angela Lansbury, and the second in 2004, with director Jonathan Demme that starred Denzel Washington, Liev Shreiber and Meryl Streep. In both versions, the main characters are snatched during war time (the Cold War and Gulf War, respectively), taken to Manchuria and brainwashed in a plot to assassinate a presidential nominee. The plots happend to be orchestrated by the candidate's dear-old-mum. Campaign lesson learned: Beware of manipulative mothers who are secretly communist or have their own political aspirations in mind.
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