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The Manchurian Candidate [DVD]

4.3 out of 5 stars 76 customer reviews

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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: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (76 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004Z2Z1
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 6,082 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

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 This acclaimed satirical thriller was withdrawn from release by Sinatra after the assassination of President Kennedy and only became available again years later.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

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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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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Format: DVD
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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