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The Manchurian Candidate (Special Edition)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Frank Sinatra, Laurence Harvey, Janet Leigh, Angela Lansbury, Henry Silva
  • Directors: John Frankenheimer
  • Writers: John Frankenheimer, George Axelrod, Richard Condon
  • Producers: John Frankenheimer, George Axelrod, Howard W. Koch
  • Format: AC-3, Black & White, Dolby, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English, Spanish
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Dubbed: French, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: PG-13
  • Studio: Fox Video (Canada) Limited
  • Release Date: July 13 2004
  • Run Time: 127 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (128 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00020X88Y
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #18,167 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)

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

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Bob Anderson on Oct. 3 2004
Format: DVD
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. It is one of the most brilliantly conceived, written and executed movies I have seen in a long time. I wish I had discovered it years ago. The acting is mostly top-notch, as is the lighting, set designs and editing. The dialogue, though wordy in spots, is always focused on manipulating the suspense and creating a reasonably believable situation (with one intriguing exception which may not be an exception at all, see below). The goal of the movie is not to keep you guessing at what is going on as much as it is to keep you guessing at how it will play out. This it does masterfully.
The only gripe I have is not with the movie but with the commentary supplied by the director, John Frankenheimer. Commentaries are often my favourite part of a DVD. Surely, in a movie of this complexity, there must be a thousand insightful and instructive stories but, for some reason, they mostly go untold. There are so many spots in the movie where you desperately want him to tell you something about the character or the actor or the difficulty in staging the shot or 'something' of interest but he says nothing of consequence or, more often, he says nothing at all. With about 20 minutes to go in the film, he finally gets into some informative details but by then it's too little, too late.
What I found most annoying was his virtual silence during the first scene between Janet Leigh and Sinatra where they trade off a long string of seemingly disconnected sentences. His only comment was that most people found this dialogue a little odd. Gee, no kidding! Taken at face value, the dialogue has ostensibly no bearing on the rest of the movie.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kemila Zsange on Dec 4 2012
Format: Blu-ray
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By bernie TOP 100 REVIEWER on Sept. 18 2004
Format: DVD
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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