A couple of decades ago, I interviewed the critic John Lahr ahead of his not very successful stage adaptation of “The Manchurian Candidate”. (It was a bit of a mess, to be honest, and only served to remind you how ingenious Richard Condon’snovel and John Frankenheimer’s hallucinogenic screen version had been.) Lahr and I were talking over the phone, as I recall, and I was feeling lukewarm about the play, having just seen it at the Oxford Playhouse. I also remember pooh-poohing his claim that American politics were so infantile and corrupt that the election of the kind of authoritarian buffoon dreamed up by Condon was a distinct possibility. Lahr sounded almost hysterical to me. True, Washington was in one of its fever swamp moods then – Bill Clinton was driving the Republicans crazy – but who would have imagined that, twenty years later, a figure as bizarre as Donald Trump could get within spitting distance of the White House? Well, now he’s taken an other step closer to his goal. Time to dig out my copy of the novel, perhaps.
[Pic via @mckaycoppins]