Oct. 24, 1962 - Opening today is “The Manchurian Candidate,” a political thriller about Communist sleeper agents. The film was directed and produced by John Frankenheimer. The screenplay is by George Axelrod, based on the 1959 novel of the same name. The film’s leading actors are Frank Sinatra, Laurence Harvey (right), Janet Leigh, and Angela Lansbury. The plot centers on Korean War veteran Raymond Shaw (Harvey), part of a prominent political family. Shaw is brainwashed by Communists after his Army platoon is captured. He returns to civilian life in the U.S., where he becomes an unwitting assassin in an international Communist conspiracy. The group, which includes representatives of Communist China and the Soviet Union, plans to assassinate the presidential nominee of an American political party, leading to the overthrow of the U.S. government.