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The Manchurian Candidate [Blu-ray] (Bilingual) [Import]

 PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)   Blu-ray
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (127 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 21.45
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Product Description


You will never find a more chillingly suspenseful, perversely funny, or viciously satirical political thriller than The Manchurian Candidate, based on the novel by Richard Condon (author of Winter Kills). The film, withheld from distribution by star Frank Sinatra for almost a quarter century after President Kennedy's assassination, has lost none of its potency over time. Former infantryman Bennet Marco (Sinatra) is haunted by nightmares about his platoon having been captured and brainwashed in Korea. The indecipherable dreams seem to center on Sergeant Raymond Shaw (Laurence Harvey), a decorated war hero but a cold fish of a man whose own mother (Angela Lansbury, in one of the all-time great dragon-lady roles) describes him as looking like his head is "always about to come to a point." Mrs. Bates has nothing on Lansbury's character, the manipulative queen behind her second husband, Senator John Iselin (James Gregory), a notoriously McCarthyesque demagogue. --Jim Emerson

Customer Reviews

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The turn of a friendly card Sept. 18 2004
By bernie TOP 50 REVIEWER
During the Korean War a platoon was mislead and abducted for nefarious purposes. This was well planned as there was only one person in the platoon that would serve further purpose SSgt. Raymond Shaw (Laurence Harvey) and was already in a position needed for the future. The rest of the platoon is used to support a story to help Raymond get the Congressional Metal of Honor

One other in the platoon Cap. /Maj. Bennett Marco (Frank Sinatra) finally realizes what happed and is in a position to thwart the plot this is because he is with Army Intelligence. As with real life luck would have it that he is assisted be a quirky woman who sees his potential and dumps her old beau for the new challenge.

What is the plot and will it succeed?

Or will Marco be able to foil it?

Who is the mysterious American Control?

Who are we supposed to root for?

Watch as the story unfolds and remember they can not hear you when you say "Watch out!"


I was shocked to see Angela Lansbury, "Murder She Wrote" not being quite as nice as I remember her. A real advantage was not recognizing Laurence Harvey from anywhere and so this did not distract from his acting.

I really enjoyed watching this just as a movie and not trying to make any connections to underlying messages. But I was really surprised to find out who the American control was. And so much for the theory that you can't be forced to do anything that is not within your nature. I was surprised to the last.

With out the immediate threat of the cold war the movie still holds suspense for us. John Candy did a parody of this in the movie "Volunteers"
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great movie! June 21 2014
By Mer
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
So well acted, a true masterpiece. Frank Sinatra at his best. Angela Landsbury is AMAZING. By far one of my top picks!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Hypnotism in The Manchurian Candidate Dec 4 2012
I watched The Manchurian Candidate1962 black and white version after a hypnotherapy client of mine mentioned it. She came to see me claiming “never been hypnotized before”. When we got to talk about hypnosis, I said something like “people don’t want to get education on any topic from Hollywood, but it seems they like to get education on Hypnotism from Hollywood.” That was when she remembered this movie.

Generally speaking, whenever a client of mine recommends a movie, I go find it and watch it. I was told the remake in 2004 was not as good as the original one.

Surprisingly, the brainwash and mind control in this movie is shockingly believable. The powerful conditioning of one’s mind and stealing of one’s soul turned the character of Raymond Shaw a man driven to do things he has no idea why.

After the Korean War, Raymond came home as American war hero but unknowingly a communist robot.

Almost the entire movie is about Raymond acting on a post hypnotic suggestion (it’s called “linkage” in the movie), a brainwash style, with queen of diamond card as a trigger. When this card is present, without caring “why”, Raymond would act on anyone’s command, so he can be potentially manipulated by anyone. He’s like a gun that has been loaded waiting for the trigger to be pulled, towards anybody, including the woman he loves.

This may seem like a typical movie showing “the danger of hypnosis”. But anybody who watches this movie and sees nothing but the danger of hypnosis is like saying “Money is evil.” Hypnosis is just a tool that anybody can use for any purposes, like any tools. They are neutral, depending on who uses them.

But the movie is beyond that.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Disturbing, well acted, well directed Feb. 14 2003
Lawrence Harvey was a brilliant actor, but one that tended to put people off with his aloofness bordering on arrogance. But this movie is not about likable people. It's about control, dirty politics, communism, and the anti-communist witch-hunts that took their toll on Hollywood and Washington. Harvey's distance works perfectly as Raymond Shaw, but even in the dis-likable Raymond, Frankenheimer pulls out moments of pathos. In a tour de force, Harvey is perfect as the man controlled by his mother, by forces the brainwashed him. He gives a bleak insight into the character of Raymond, a man driven to do things he has no idea why, and man so manipulated by his harpy mother, a 'gun' that has been loaded waiting for the trigger to be pulled, one that kills the woman he loves without hesitation.
But his brilliance does not dominate the film, because there are so many other superb performance by this All Star Cast. And oddly, John Frankenheimer in untypical Hollywood style, cast against roles and demanded such range from all the actors. Angela Landsbury (Murder, She Wrote) built a career of being the person everyone adored, yet in this film she is the woman behind the man...the true power. She is hard-edged, totally manipulative, rather ugly in spirit, and determined at all costs to change the face of US politics. Frank Sinatra, usually Mr. Macho, comes across as a man a tormented by dreams that made no sense, but keep him convinced something is terrible wrong, with him, with Harvey, with all the men of their unit. Many consider this Sinatra's best performance. Janet Leigh is warm as the woman who falls in love with Sinatra, though under used. James Gregory play Landsbury's husband, the wishy-washy Joe McCarthy-type senator, who is merely his wife's mouthpiece and puppet.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Still the best version!
A very disturbing view on brainwashing, masterfully filmed. One feels that this just might happen, which is what makes it so scary. Read more
Published on Dec 3 2009 by R. Bloemhof
4.0 out of 5 stars way better than the 2004 remake
it took me awhile to finally get around to seeing this movie,but it was
worth it.i found it much better than the remake in many respects. Read more
Published on May 29 2009 by falcon
5.0 out of 5 stars Extraordinary movie, disappointing commentary
I don't think I can add much to the praise already heaped upon the movie itself except to say that all of it is richly deserved. Read more
Published on Oct. 3 2004 by Bob Anderson
4.0 out of 5 stars I wanted to love this movie
I wanted so badly to love this movie, and on some level, I do. My first viewing (on DVD since I didn't get to see it when it originally came out) wasn't the best experience. Read more
Published on July 18 2004 by Janice Keyes
5.0 out of 5 stars The original classic
The Manchurian Candidate is a John Frankenheimer directed film set in the middle of the cold war. A group of US soldiers is captured and then brainwashed by the North Koreans and... Read more
Published on July 17 2004 by Virgil
5.0 out of 5 stars Political satire and thriller rolled into one
"The Manchurian Candidate" was a product of its era that has managed to transcend the era that produced it. Read more
Published on July 16 2004 by Wayne Klein
5.0 out of 5 stars One swinger of a nightmare
MGM has upgraded and repackaged thier DVD version of John Frankenheimer's classic 1962 political chiller just in time for the release of the (pointless!) 2004 remake in theaters. Read more
Published on July 16 2004 by D. Hartley
5.0 out of 5 stars THE Political Thriller
To some (myself included), the term "Political Thriller" can seem like an oxymoron...that is, until one watches The Manchurian Candidate. Read more
Published on July 16 2004 by S. Johnson
5.0 out of 5 stars Top-notch Cold War thriller
Yes, the political affiliations of this political thriller are sometimes muddled but this is only a movie. Read more
Published on July 12 2004 by Rocco Dormarunno
5.0 out of 5 stars "A Little Solitaire"--'Special 'Edition
In a marketing ploy to capitalize on the release of the new "Manchurian Candidate" directed by Jonathan Demme and starring Denzel Washington and Meryl Streep (in theaters July... Read more
Published on July 12 2004 by M. Bartfeld
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