Burt Lancaster gives an outstanding performance as prisoner Robert Stroud, who, during his 53-year imprisonment, became a world authority on birds. The movie gives a sense of the enormous span of time this man spent in jail and it is undoubtedly one of Frankenheimer's most meditative films.
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Decades before U.S. intelligence got hip to the notion of "sleeper agents" in our midst, The Manchurian Candidate successfully tried out the idea in this post-Korean War setting. (Last year it was re-made in a post-gulf war setting.) The result is a chilling story about brainwashing, secret political agendas, power-hungry moms, and psychically ravaged veterans.