This is the tale (from a Richard Condon novel) that set the standard for the political-conspiracy thriller. In the George Axelrod–John Frankenheimer film version, the plot and motives are so twisted, that Raymond Shaw (Laurence Harvey), a Cold War cold-fish misfit who quite systematically kills eight people, turns out to be the hero — and his mother (Lansbury) is the villain. She’s Joe McCarthy’s puppeteer, the Red menace and a would-be Presidential assassin in one conniving package. In one of the most startling movie moments of the ’60s, she gives Raymond a great big slimy smooch; mother love never seemed so despotic. Lansbury and Harvey are both sensational in a movie that remains pointed and current. It still touches you like a clammy hand in the dark.