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The Manchurian Candidate (Special Edition) (1962)

1 rating: 5.0
A movie directed by John Frankenheimer

You will never find a more chillingly suspenseful, perversely funny, or viciously satirical political thriller thanThe Manchurian Candidate, based on the novel by Richard Condon (author ofWinter Kills). The film, withheld from distribution by star Frank … see full wiki

Director: John Frankenheimer
1 review about The Manchurian Candidate (Special Edition)...

Relevant Political Thriller

  • Mar 5, 2008
Rating:
+5
After returning home from the Korean War, Raymond Shaw (Laurence Harvey) is decorated with the Congressional Medal of Honor. The other members of his unit claim that Shaw saved their lives and showed exemplary courage in the face of daunting danger. Yet, what each member says seems rote and no one can remember specific details. When Shaw's commanding officer, Ben Marco (Frank Sinatra) begins having "nightmares" about his Korean experience, he begins to suspect that Shaw isn't everything he seems to be and that there might be some powerful people with ulterior motives at work. His suspicions increase when Shaw's mother, Elanor Iselin (Angela Lansbury) begins using her son for her own political purposes.

THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE is one of the best political suspense films ever made. The film works on a number of different levels and the issues that it touches upon are still relevant today. Besides a great story that has been directed with great skill by John Frankenheimer, the film is also notable for its powerful acting performances. Frank Sinatra might best be known as a singer, but he was just as talented as an actor and stunt person (in the kung-fu fight scene he broke his hand, but for filming purposes it wasn't cast--it never healed properly and he had problems for it the rest of his life). Laurence Harvey isn't as well known as some other members of the cast, but he gives one of the best film performances of his career. Janet Leigh is as beautiful as ever as Shaw's love interest, Eugenie Rose Chaney, but is also allowed to show some range instead of just being a pretty face. Lastly, Angela Lansbury gives an amazing showing as one of the most evil and wicked woman ever seen on film, Mrs. Iselin.

A great drama that anyone interested in film or politics should see at least once.

The DVD includes some very good special features including an interview with Frank Sinatra, George Axelrod, and John Frankenheimer; audio commentary with director Frankenheimer; "Queen of Diamonds" featurette with Angela Lansbury; "A Little Solitaire" featurette with William Friedkin; the original theatrical trailer; and a photo gallery. I most enjoyed the director's audio commentary and the "Queen of Diamonds" featurette.

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