Author Topic: The Manchurian Candidate (1962)  (Read 1428 times)

Offline Antares

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The Manchurian Candidate (1962)
« on: July 01, 2010, 12:58:54 AM »
The Manchurian Candidate





Year: 1962
Film Studio: United Artists, M.C. Productions
Genre: Suspense/Thriller
Length: 126 Min.

Director
John Frankenheimer (1930)

Writing
Richard Condon (1915)...Novel
George Axelrod (1922)...Screenplay

Producer
George Axelrod (1922)
John Frankenheimer (1930)
Howard W. Koch (1916)

Cinematographer
Lionel Lindon (1905)

Music
David Amram (1930)...Composer

Stars
Frank Sinatra (1915) as Maj. Bennett Marco
Laurence Harvey (1928) as Raymond Shaw
Janet Leigh (1927) as Eugenie Rose Chaney
Angela Lansbury (1925) as Mrs. Iselin
Henry Silva (1928) as Chunjin
James Gregory (1911) as Sen. John Yerkes Iselin
Leslie Parrish (1935) as Jocelyn Jordan
John McGiver (1913) as Sen. Thomas Jordan

Review
       John Frankenheimer had spent his first decade as a director doing live dramas on television, most notably on Playhouse 90. His transition to mainstream film brought him quick acclaim following his success with The Birdman of Alcatraz. The Manchurian Candidate would prove that Frankenheimer would be a force to be reckoned with as a filmmaker and innovator over the next decade of his career. Based on the novel by Richard Condon, the plot revolves around a platoon of G.I.'s captured by the Communists during the Korean War. In a span of just one week they are brainwashed by a Chinese doctor, menacingly portrayed by Khigh Dhiegh, who is best remembered as the sinister Wo Fat from Hawaii 5-O. One of the soldiers (Laurence Harvey) has been programmed to kill on command and the platoon is returned to the front lines, with a pre-planted story to explain their disappearance for the previous week.

       After the war, Major Marco (Frank Sinatra) is having nightmares about the week in captivity, although he has no true memory of the brainwashing. He contacts Sergeant Shaw (Harvey) and learns that another soldier in the platoon has contacted Shaw about similar nightmares. Will Marco unravel the mystery before Shaw is triggered by his Communist handlers to perform the assassination that he has been programmed to complete? You'll have to watch the movie to find the answer.

       One interesting side note; this movie was released just one year before the assassination of President Kennedy, the one time Senator from Massachusetts. In one scene in the film, Shaw (Harvey) as the assassin is in Madison Square Garden prior to a political party convention. As he is walking across the convention floor with his hidden rifle, we can see the placards of the State delegations. It's a tracking shot of Shaw as he makes his way to complete his mission. Just as he passes below the Massachusetts placard and as the other state placards disappear from the shot, the scene changes. Was it prophetic or just coincidence?


Review Criterion
5 Stars - The pinnacle of film perfection and excellence.
4 ½ Stars - Not quite an immortal film, yet a masterpiece in its own right.
4 Stars - Historically important film, considered a classic.
3 ½ Stars - An entertaining film that’s fun or engaging to watch.
3 Stars – A good film that’s worth a Netflix venture.
2 ½ Stars - Borderline viewable.
2 Stars – A bad film that may have a moment of interest.
1 ½ Stars – Insipid, trite and sophomoric, and that's its good points.
1 Star – A film so vacuous, it will suck 2 hours from the remainder of your life.
½ Star - A gangrenous and festering pustule in the chronicles of celluloid.
« Last Edit: November 04, 2010, 06:15:52 PM by Antares »

Offline Dragonfire

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Re: The Manchurian Candidate (1962)
« Reply #1 on: July 01, 2010, 02:34:06 AM »
I need to watch this one again..I really liked it.