A list of Edgar Wright's favorite 1000 Movies per his list on Mubi on July 27th, 2016.
The Manchurian Candidate
When you've seen it all, you'll swear there's never been anything like it!
The Manchurian Candidate is a political thriller from American director John Frankenheimer. An American soldier is brainwashed into being a killer for the communist Russians during the Korean War.
The only Hollywood movie that belongs to the French New Wave.
Whilst Alan Pakula would go on to create some of the most potent paranoid thrillers a decade later, the seeds of those post-Kennedy conspiracy theories were perfectly realised in John Frankenheimer's Cold War classic in 1962. Surprisingly this was released on the 24th October 1962 - right in the middle of the Cuban Missile Crisis, a time when fear of nuclear warfare was at an all time high.
Frankenheimer tries his damnedest to disturb the viewer from the very beginning of the film with American soldiers sold out by their Chinese guide, handed over to the Russians and South Koreans. It doesn't take a genius to figure out why the film failed at the box-office upon release, with the director…
This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Bit of a nosedive (this was previously my favorite film of '62), because I can no longer persuade myself that the whole is greater than—or even equal to—the sum of its parts. Marco and Rosie's meet-weird on the train ("Are you Arabic? Let me put it another way: Are you married?"), for example, introduces a fascinating character in whom the movie ultimately has almost zero interest; Janet Leigh all but vanishes thereafter, turning up now and again as a completely generic girlfriend who just looks concerned about stuff. Likewise, the hallucinogenic garden-club nightmare/flashback, while a masterpiece of sustained black comedy, isn't integrated into Raymond's assignment, nor does it even seem necessary for its own sake (since the brainwashed men…
It's a terrible thing to hate your mother. But I didn't always hate her. When I was a child, I only kind of disliked her.
John Frankenheimer's adaptation of Richard Condon's 1959 novel of the same name is quite possibly his greatest film and also Frank Sinatra's best outing as an actor. The film is so well made that 50 years later, even though it is drenched in Cold War Red Menace paranoia, it still feels like a contemporary story today. Honestly the theme of manipulating the public's perception of a perceived threat, real or not, is as poignant today as it was in 1962 if not more so.
As mentioned it's probably Sinatra's best performance as an…
The genius of this film remains how unbelievably prescient and unyielding it was towards electioneering in 1962. The Red Scare and Bay of Pigs invasion were magma hot issues at the time, and the assassination of JFK would occur within a year of the film's release. Talk about a hot-button movie. The conspiracy thriller that all subsequent conspiracy thrillers would be judged against. Has there been a film about brainwashing that even attempts to match the scope of Frankenheimer's film? The story is handled so delicately, heavy on taut mood, using next to no music and taking full advantage of black and white photography. The unraveling of a grand scheme plays so casually realistic that it is not so farfetched…
Although John Frankenheimer's political thriller felt a lot more relevant when it was released (1962, when the Cold War was at its hottest) than it does now, the truth is that it hasn't lost its ability to provoke. Let's be honest, the famous conflict between the USA and the Soviet Union that almost destroyed the world is not exactly a current theme (and I'm definitely not an expert in American history, which certainly affected my enjoyment and perception of the film), but the ideas behind The Manchurian Candidate are so intelligent, ingenious and appropriate that it remains a benchmark for American political thrillers.
To prove/confirm the relevance of The Manchurian Candidate, a satire about brainwashing and killing an American President,…
This holds up like gangbusters. In every political climate this tale is so freakin' creepy and unsettling because it attacks what's built into every one of them. The fear, the ambition, the circus. Angela Lansbury is so perfect in this movie and it's one of the scariest roles in cinema. If you've only seen her in Murder She Wrote, prepare to see something entirely new and unsettling. This is a bold movie.
*Extremely Tim Curry voice*
"Communism was just a red-herring!"
That quote on the cover art really says it all. The first ten minutes really threw me for a loop and I was worried I had entered the realm of my father's questionable taste, since this was his recommendation.
So the pacing feels slow in the first hour. So what? Everything moves precisely, as to make sure we aren't bogged down by too much new information or action all at once for this complex tale that looks at a Korean War, Communist brainwashing scheme for the ages.
I don't want to write into too much depth about the plot because it truly is one of its own. On rewatch, this might become a 5. The first time through, there just…
IT WAS TRAGIC AND BEAUTIFUL AND PERFECT AND I LOVE THAT IT WAS REFERENCED IN CAPTAIN AMERICA CIVIL WAR.
how do i even process this movie
i feel like i need to watch it 10 more times before i can even begin to appreciate it
The only Hollywood movie that belongs to the French New Wave.
A surprisingly good and brutal fight when you think of when it was made
Frank Sinatra does karate.
"There are people who think of Johnny as a clown and a buffoon, but I do not. I despise John Iselin and everything that Iselinism has come to stand for.
I think, if John Iselin were a paid Soviet agent, he could not do more to harm this country than he's doing now."
I don't know why I felt like revisiting The Manchurian Candidate this week, must have been something in the air.
With an odd combination of both anti-McCarthyism and cold war paranoia, it is a very solid political thriller, even if Laurence Harvey can't conceal his British accent and the plot has holes you can drive a truck through: the son of a senator seems too valuable an…
This is what happens when your car breaks down on a Sunday morning and you have nothing else to do…
Movies that are slightly off.