The Manchurian Candidate (Special Edition)
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Eerie, shocking, daring, thrilling and mesmerizing, The Manchurian Candidate will leave youbreathless (People)! Featuring an all-star cast, including Angela Lansbury in an OscarÂ(r)-nominated performance, this chilling and controversial (Leonard Maltin) film may be the most sophisticated political satire ever made (Pauline Kael). When a platoon of Korean War G.I.s iscaptured, they somehow end up at a ladies garden club party. Or do they? Major Bennett Marco (Frank Sinatra) can't remember. As he searches for the answer, he discovers threads of a diabolical plot orchestrated by the utterly ruthless Mrs. Iselin (Lansbury) and involving her war hero son (LaurenceHarvey), her senator husband (James Gregory) and a secret cabal of enemy leaders.
In preparation for the 2004 remake, the special edition of this 1962 thriller delivers a few extra features, but the best reason to grab this edition is a new 5.1 Dolby sound mix and anamorphic widescreen transfer. Director John Frankenheimer's excellent commentary and a short 1988 reunion with the three main talents are retained from the first release. New extras includes a photo gallery and 15 minutes of reminiscences from actress Angela Lansbury. The other short is hosted by Frankenheimer disciple William Friedkin, who dishes on some facts, but a few of his speculations are contradicted by Frankenheimer's commentary. --Doug Thomas
- Interview with Frank Sinatra, George Axelrod, and John Frankenheimer
- New to this edition:
- Featurette with William Friedkin
- Featurette with Angela Lansbury
- Photo gallery
- Anamorphic widescreen transfer and remastered 5.1 Dolby soundtrack
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Top Customer Reviews
It opens in the early 1950s, on a captured platoon of American Korean War G.I.s that somehow ended up at an American ladies garden club party. Or did it? Major Bennett Marco (Frank Sinatra), an intelligence officer in the U.S. Army who served valiantly as a captain in the Korean war, can' quite remember, but bits and pieces of the experience keep coming back to him in dreams, as they do to another member of the platoon. As Marco searches for answers, he discovers threads of a murderous Russo-Chinese plot orchestrated by and for the utterly ruthless Mrs. Eleanor Shaw Iselin (Lansbury), involving her greatly damaged war hero son platoon sergeant Raymond Shaw (Laurence Harvey). And her senator husband John Yerkes Iselin (James Gregory), ranting about 57 Communists in the Army. (Older readers might remember Senator Joe McCarthy ranting about 57 Communists in the State Department.)
This chilling controversial film (Leonard Maltin), in which a former prisoner of war is brainwashed to create an unwitting assassin for an international Communist conspiracy may be the most sophisticated political satire ever made (Pauline Kael). It certainly continues to be only too relevant today. And what a farseeing genius Condon was. Strongly recommended.
I found the book just wonderful and fascinating. It made me appreciate the two films that were adapted from it even more. While the story; American soldiers in the Korean conflict who are taken and brainwashed by a collective of Russian, Chinese and Korean 'brain washers' was shocking for its time, there are other subplots that would never make it past the Hayes Code of 1962 and even in 2016 are shocking.
The book's style is rather unique. It is a bit like the writing of the hard boiled detective novels if the author kept a thesaurus on their desk to drop in obscure and obsolete words and phrases. I was often using the dictionary function of my Kindle. There were even words that stumped the Kindle's dictionary. The book is manly. Most of the main characters are men or women who act like men of the time. Yet the author repeats the theme of the love of a 'good woman' as a redemptive cure for what ails you.
The other thing that I found amazing in this almost 60 year old book was that parts of it almost seemed to be ripped from the headlines of today. There is a Senator who is accusing everyone of working with the Russian Communists and who runs to the media to accuse all of his political enemies of this baseless charge.
Definitely a 5-star film.
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