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The Manchurian Candidate [Blu-ray]

3.7 out of 5 stars 341 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Academy Award® winners Denzel Washington and Meryl Streep, along with Golden Globe and Emmy nominee Liev Schreiber, mesmerize a whole new generation of audiences in Academy Award® winner Jonathan Demme’s "The Manchurian Candidate." As the entire nation watches the presidential campaign hurtle towards Election Day, one soldier races to uncover the conspiracy behind it - a conspiracy that seeks to destroy democracy itself.

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Product Details

  • Actors: Denzel Washington, Bruno Ganz, Robyn Hitchcock, Ted Levine, Simon McBurney
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, Color, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English, French
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    R
    Restricted
  • Studio: Paramount
  • DVD Release Date: June 3, 2008
  • Run Time: 129 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (341 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000K7UG2U
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #135,677 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Manchurian Candidate [Blu-ray]" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By B. Merritt VINE VOICE on January 21, 2005
Format: DVD
I was getting tugged on multiple sides when I decided to rate and review this film. First, and most obviously, was that I loved the original with Frank Sinatra. I think it was probably his defining role as an actor and was my personal favorite Sinatra movie. Second, I was worried that I might try and draw too many comparisons between this new film and its predecessor and thus end up hating this one. Third, I like Denzel Washington and Meryl Streep, and PRAYED that they didn't put these two excellent actors into roles that they either weren't made for or couldn't live up to.

So basically I stressed out over nothing. The movie was good. Not great, not the best of the year, but good enough to hold my attention and keep me up later than I normally would be.

The film: Denzel Washington takes on the role of Major Ben Marco (Sinatra's old Captain role), a desert storm officer who's come back from the war with terrible headaches, undecipherable dreams, and a member of his team who won the Congressional Medal of Honor.

Liev Schriber plays Raymond Shaw, the powerfully connected Sergeant who wins The Medal. He comes back to the States and is swept into politics. And he's being primed for the vice presidency.

Meryl Streep plays Senator Eleanor Shaw, Raymond's hard-nosed mother who NEEDS to have her son in a position of power. The family name MUST be upheld and put into the history books. Mrs. Streep plays probably her most creepy role to date; I loved it. Her character infuriated me one moment, and then made my stomach turn the next. A perfect performance.

Instead of Manchuria being involved, this time we have something known as Manchurian Global, a company that wants to rule the most powerful nation on Earth by controlling one of its most powerful leaders.
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
This movie (2004) follows a 1962 film of the same title, starring Frank Sinatra. Yes, I did see it. The characters are the same and the circumstances are similar. In the earlier film, a Korean War POW is brainwashed by the communists and programmed to do mischief. In the later film, the war action is the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait. An engagement with the enemy results in the officer (Denzel Washington) being knocked unconscious and the senior NCO (Liev Schreiber) assuming command. This action takes place over a period of days. The NCO saves the lives of all but two of the soldiers and is awarded the Medal of Honor. In later years, the surviving members are having difficulties with their memories of the events. When a former soldier meets the officer, it begins opening up memories that depict something entirely different than the heroic efforts attributed to Liev Schreiber. This is an enjoyable movie to watch.
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By J. Haertling on October 27, 2013
Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
The original Manchurian Candidate was measmerizing and intense. They rewrote critical portions and dumbed it down. If you have the chance, watch the original with Frank Sinatra and Lawrence Harvey. Now that is a movie.
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Shades of Fahrenheit 911! This superbly crafted and well acted re-make of the 1960s political thriller, "The Manchurian Candidate" bears little resemblance to the original, a taut but relatively conventional psychological drama based on the premise of the selective brainwashing of a platoon of American soldiers during the Korean War by the North Koreans. In the original, the storyline revolves around the nightmare ruminations of a military officer (played by Frank Sinatra) who comes to realize all hinges on a fellow prisoner, the scion of a wealthy, influential, and politically ambitious family becoming a sleeper assassin who will be activated to act out his part in a diabolical plot to stage a deft and ostensibly peaceful coup-d'etat of the American government.

Here Denzel Washington underplays the part of the officer to the point of perfection, yet the story-line is much more of a postmodern twist, involving corporate geopolitical ambitions for a Halliburton-like firm who tries to use the brainwashing during the Gulf War of 1991 to ensnare and brainwash the sleeper agent (played well here by Liev Schreiber, once again the scion of a wealthy, influential, and politically star-crossed family). Meryl Streep plays against type as a brash and arrogant neoconservative senator who uses her bully pulpit to spew imperialistic venom. There are many contemporary touches and twists to the script and the plot that make this a quite artful, albeit obviously fictional, philosophical diatribe on the state of current American politics seen through the eyes of Hollywood intellectuals (or is that a contradiction in terms?).

All that said, there is indeed much beyond these blatant attempts to examine the current state of the American polity to recommend the film for your entertainment.
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Format: DVD
Please watch the 1962 version instead.
The original The Manchurian Candidate (Special Edition)(1962) included an all-star cast, Frank Sinatra as "Bennett Marco", Laurence Harvey as "Raymond", Janet Leigh, Henry Silva, John McGiver, James Gregory and Angela Lansbury. Angela Lansbury is so memorable in her role as "Mrs. Iselin", a very rare performance from Lansbury that it has never been duplicated. (Lucille Ball was once considered for the role).
The original black & white film was very effective in showing subliminal hypnotism and the film sucks you right into the storyline. Very dramatic 1962 film.
This film was made before the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. There are parallels in the film to Abraham Lincoln who was a President also assassinated.
Making a remake of this film, first of all, is very risky and casting and storyline should have been just right, but I am not pleased with Denzel washington in the role that Frank Sinatra is originally known for. Harrison Ford, Timothy Dalton or Clive Owen would have been a better choice. Meryl Streep as "Eleanor Prentiss Shaw" is perhaps the only interest I had in seeing this 2004 remake. There is no mystery, suspense, wonder nor intense hypnotizing going on as it did in the first film. The thrill is gone in this remake.
Please buy and see the original 1962 version The Manchurian Candidate (Special Edition) (1962) with Frank Sinatra, instead of watching this 2004 garbage.
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