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The Manchurian Candidate [DVD]
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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 This acclaimed satirical thriller was withdrawn from release by Sinatra after the assassination of President Kennedy and only became available again years later.
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 EmersonSee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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!
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.
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
An intriguing idea but the execution is much too wordy and the film is tedious. A good role for Angela Lansbury, but I wasn't convinced at all by Laurence Harvey.Published 5 months ago by Charlie Allnutt
This is quite possibly the greatest political thriller of all time. Great performances, terrific direction and the nightmare brain-washing sequences are still brilliant. Read morePublished 6 months ago by JulianB
Wonderful film I remember from my youth. (He liked it too!)
No, seriously it is such an original story line, especially the
afternoon tea sessions. Read more
I bought this original copy of 'the Manchurian Candidate because I had bought the Denzel Washington version and I didn't think much of it. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Khalmar
Honestly I do not know if giving 4 or 5 stars: being an amazing, unique film is out of the question. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Elleppi