Born in New York and raised in Queens, John Frankenheimer wanted to become a professional tennis player. He loved movies and his favorite actor was Robert Mitchum. He decided he wanted to be an actor but then he applied for and was accepted in the Motion Picture Squadron of the Air Force where he realized his natural talent to handle a camera. After his military discharge he began a TV career in 1953 convincing CBS to hire him as an assistant director, which consisted mainly working as a cameraman at that time. He eventually started to direct the show he was working on as an assistant director. Frankenheimer still didn’t want to direct films. He liked to direct live television, and he would have continued to do it if the profession itself hadn’t cease to exist. He first turned to the big screen with The Young Stranger (1957) which he hated to do because he thought he didn’t understand movies and wasn’t used to work with only one camera. Disappointed with his first feature film experience… read more
Though this doesn't beat Robert Ludlum's fine, fine novel, it is a great fast-paced adaptation of it with a pretty good score to boot. Nice camera work and POV's on some scenes. I believe this is one of Frankenheimer's finest pieces, right up there with The Manchurian Candidate, French Connection II, 52 Pick-up, Ronin. I've watched this movie 5 times and it gets better with each viewing. One of my favorite films.