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The Manchurian Candidate [DVD]


Price: £4.80 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
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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: Black & White, Dubbed, PAL, Widescreen, Special Edition
  • Language: English, French
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Swedish, Danish, Polish, Dutch, Finnish
  • Dubbed: Italian, Spanish
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.75:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Twentieth Century Fox
  • DVD Release Date: 25 Oct. 2004
  • Run Time: 126 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004Z2Z1
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 5,792 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

When Major Marco (Frank Sinatra) returns from service in Korea, he is haunted by a recurring dream in which Congressional Medal of Honor hero Raymond Shaw (Laurence Harvey) appears to kill two of his unit in front of an audience of Korean and Russian officials. Working for Intelligence, Marco eventually discovers that Shaw has become the unwitting pawn in a Communist conspiracy to kill an American presidential candidate. However, discovering this is one thing, the question is whether he can be stopped in time? This acclaimed satirical thriller was withdrawn from release by Sinatra after the assassination of President Kennedy and only became available again years later.

From Amazon.co.uk

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 centre 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

4.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Kristin on 29 Dec. 2004
Format: DVD
More than forty years after its original release, The Manchurian Candidate has lost none of its edge. Unlike many classics it is good not just retrospectively and for its time, but will captivate the modern, jaded cinema goer even today - the mark of a real classic. With a plot that leaves the audience guessing and confused through much of the film, The Manchurian Candidate manages to keep the viewer in suspense until the very end. Nothing is what it seems in this groundbreaking story about Raymond Shaw, a US soldier brainwashed in the Korean War. Frank Sinatra puts in a stellar performance as the man trying to get to the bottom of a series of mysterious events, and Angela Lansbury, despite being only two years older than the actor who plays Raymond, is utterly convincing as his mother.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By The BlackFerret on 22 Sept. 2007
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This film is now 45 years old, but still stands up as a massive achievement.

I won't ruin the plot, but an army platoon's disappearance behind enemy lines in the Korean War leads to an award for their Staff Sargeant, whose stepfather just happens to be a rabid right-wing senator. It isn't the correctness of the honour's bestowal that needs to concern you, either!

The film is lit up by Frank Sinatra, as the platoon's Major, who slowly realises something evil happened, but he can't guess what, let alone why for ages. Sinatra's face in this film is expessive beyond belief-starting like a guy with a pebble in his shoe,and mildly irritated, it gradually collapses as the enormity of what might have happened sinks in, especially when he's left alone to try and reverse the seemingly inevitable conclusion.

Laurence Harvey, as the Staff Sargeant, is perfect casting-he often acted with hardly-supressed boredom and a stony expression & that suits the man he has become. But glimpses of what he actually was break through now and again, and the question boils down to which part will do what in the climax of the film.

As if that wasn't enough, Angela Lansbury, as Harvey's manipulative mother, puts in a third cracking performance. How she got to be Miss Marple after this is beyond belief-very naughty girl indeed!!

So, that's more than enough reasons to buy it-go get that credit card now!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Erik Preben Pedersen on 2 May 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
John Frankenheimer directed this movie for release in 1962 (and 2 years later he directed another great thriller, "7 days in May"), and to me the former was an eye-opener that I never forgot. Maybe because political thrillers of that standard were not that common in the sixties, and another reason, beside the acting, was maybe the subject of the effects of brain-wash, that I don't recall having seen in any other movie from that period.
Frank Sinatra is, as always, very good and so is Laurence Harvey, but the most scary person is portrayed by Angela Lansbury. There is quite a gap between her part in the sugar-coated TV-series, "Murder, she wrote", to her role as the cold-blooded and unscrupulous mother to her son (LH), and Meryl Streep in same role and in the remake of the movie in 2004 didn't come close.
Great director and a great movie!
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Gulley Jimson on 28 Dec. 2004
Format: DVD
John Frankenheimer could do little wrong in the early 1960's and this political thriller, an adpatation of Richard Condon's novel, stands as probably his finest achievement. The film is dazzlingly photographed (in B&W), memorably performed (by Angela Lansbury in particular) and is blessed with a bitingly, satirical script containing surprise, humour, pathos and moments of shocking violence. There are some flaws: the plot is preposterous and Laurence Harvey makes no attempt at an American accent; but the film is so gripping from the outset that these are easily overlooked.
On the DVD, the film is presented in its original widescreen format with mono sound. Picture and audio quality are both adequate. The main extras are a commentary track from John Frankenheimer and short retrospective interviews with Frankenheimer, Frank Sinatra and screenwriter George Axelrod. Unfortunately, neither are particularly illuminating.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By spaceodds on 4 Mar. 2015
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
During the Korean war a platoon of soldiers are captured and held prisoner.... in a flower garden that is being hosted by a bunch of middle aged women whose speech patterns strangely go from all American to Russian, Latin American and cod Chinese. Why is this happening? Because the prisoner's setting and accomodation is all an elaborate illusion, to rouse the prisoners into doing the bidding of the 'other side', and that's what this film is all about; the controlling and domination of a man's mind to do the most horrid acts of all.

Of course The Manchurian Candidate is just pure fiction and the whole idea sounds ludicrous, served up as a slice of paranoia propaganda to the McCarthites, and a satire of said paranoia to the more liberal crowd. Produced and released at a time when the ghost of McCarthism was still very much present in the U.S. and all over the western world, The Manchurian Candidate was a film that hit the nail at both sides of the argument. With a compelling performance by Laurence Harvey, as the troubled and detestable young man at the centre of the whole story, and a sensantional performance by Angela (Jessica Fletcher) Lansbury as his horrid mother who would make Mrs Bates look like a saint, The Manchurian Candidate is a brilliant and captivating film that would take you on a suspence filled ride and would leave you hoping for more.

The Blu-Ray: Yet again Arrow have proven themselves very worthy. If there ever was a home video distributor that did an abrupt face on its reputation its this company.
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