A presidential election campaign, an attempt by Russians to get a sleeper agent in the White House, the US government on the brink of being subverted and taken over by foreign interests – sound familiar?

It's hard to believe The Manchurian Candidate was released in 1962, but 2019 seemed like as good a time as any to revisit the Academy Award-nominated film starring Frank Sinatra, Laurence Harvey, Angela Lansbury and Janet Leigh.

The suspense thriller was filmed at the the height of US-Soviet hostility during the Cuban Missile Crisis. It was selected in 1994 for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".

Non-Resident Senior Fellow Stephen Loosley AM (whose expertise combines presidential politics and Hollywood history) hosted an audience discussion following the film.