from the desk of the Witchfinder General, Potomac City, United States of Amerikkka

This classic film was first made in 1962 or 1963, I can't be certain of the date without checking IMDB. While I don't remember actually having seen it myself, others have reported to me that it is a very important and timely film. I can honestly state that I believe I have seen it, and my recollection corresponds reliably with reports I have gotten from colleagues and staff members who have assured me that they have seen the film. Each and every one of these colleagues and staff members have proven themselves to be exemplary public servants and inveterate cineistes, and I have depended on them to fill me in on the parts I may have missed, due to having to catch a cat nap, or going to get a Coke, or going to drain the Coke, if you know what I mean. Film criticism, I have found, can be thirsty work.

The plot of the film centers around lead Laurence Harvey, who has just returned from a lengthy internment in a Southeast Asian POW camp, run, it turns out, by the Red Chinese. This prisoner of war camp, having none of the amenities of Western, not to mention American internment camps, returns Harvey to his family and loved ones, but his release, we learn, has nothing to do with international good will. No, we learn that Harvey's mother, chillingly played by Angela Lansbury in a role that eerily anticipates Hillary Clinton (at least that was Dana Perino's take on the character, and Dana has heretofore proven herself to be spot on in these matters), has been working in tandem with the Chinese to brainwash her son and program him to assassinate a patriotic American presidential candidate and replace him with a Communist plant, which we all know is code for "Democrat".

Frank Sinatra plays Harvey's best friend, a fellow P.O.W. who tries to save his friend and the country from the evil Oriental/Angela/Hillary plot. A subplot involving Frank and love interest Deborah Kerr, climaxed by a torrid love scene on the beach, as the surf washes over them, is tastefully done, though tame by today's standards, and reminds us what a hottie a prim and proper "librarian" type can be in the right vehicle.

The hideous Hillary will haunt your dreams for months after you've seen this classic political thriller. All my thumbs are up for this one.

...transcribed by Jim Earp