The Manchurian Candidate [Blu-ray] (Bilingual) [Import]
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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. Digital video disc extras include interviews with Sinatra, producer George Axelrod, and director John Frankenheimer, and audio commentary by Frankenheimer. --Jim Emerson --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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"
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.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
Wasn't a bad movie, just kinda slow, maybe I thought it was going to be betterPublished 1 month ago by MusicDevour
A fantastic movie. I far prefer this one to the remake, but that's personal taste.Published 14 months ago by Robert Lewis
So well acted, a true masterpiece. Frank Sinatra at his best. Angela Landsbury is AMAZING. By far one of my top picks!Published on June 21 2014 by Mer
I received this book in good condition and within time limits. The service has been excellent.
It is an interesting book and I enjoy reading it. Read more
A very disturbing view on brainwashing, masterfully filmed. One feels that this just might happen, which is what makes it so scary. Read morePublished on Dec 3 2009 by R. Bloemhof
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