All the films from all the editions, including those subsequently removed, presently totalling 1177. An easy way of seeing how…
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.
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…
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…
This review reportedly contains 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…
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,…
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…
This suspenseful ride, set during the Korean War, does not seem dated at all. It follows a brainwashed war veteran who is being used in a communist scheme against his will.
This film contains one intense scene after another. One in particular, near the beginning, really stands out in my memory. It is when a group of soldiers is being brainwashed, while thinking they are at a garden party. After this, many of them begin to have nightmares revealing the truth about the events that really unfolded. Expert editing and filmmaking, in this scene as well as in the rest of the film, smoothly let the story unfold in a bold and unsettling manner.
In addition to its technical merit…
Film 27/30 of Scavenger Hunt #1!
Task #8: "A film about political conspiracy!"
The Manchurian Candidate tells the story of brainwashed soldiers by the soviets who return to their country to commit assassinations without remembering them.
The plot ist frequently interrupted by flashbacks of the main characters of war and prewar moments, which tells the story without relaying too much on exposition scenes.
The whole movie was well acted and resolved in a really suspenseful climax at the end, with some twist scenes I was not excpecting.
I enjoyed watching the movie, but I think it is a bit too long which could stop me from rewatching it.
Film #3 of the 2015 Scavenger Hunt November Challenge!
Task #8: A film about political conspiracy!
I really did enjoy this despite the fact that I kept waiting for there to be some other conspiracy revealed at the end. You can't convince me that there wasn't something fishy about Janet Leigh.
Another great Frankenheimer thriller, and with broader political implications concerning the perceived threat of Communism in the West during the Cold War, as well as strangely foreshadowing events a year after it was released. Frank Sinatra downplays the straight man trying to pick apart a conspiracy piece-by-piece, and Laurence Harvey effortlessly switches between heartbroken stooge and brainwashed assassin unwittingly caught in the middle of said conspiracy. This is hard-boiled, no-nonsense acting that doesn't try to overdo it, and perfectly fits this kind of sprawling drama.
Angela Lansbury is a wonderful menace, and despite expecting her involvement all along it was great to see it all unfold and discover her motives. The strange kiss she gives her son at one point…
Perfect script for Hitchcock ! Including the blonde's
My beef with Frankenheimer from both this and Seconds is his need to tell instead of show, even explaining the explanations. This film is a pretty boilerplate thriller albeit with a few virtuoso fantasy scenes (the initial brainwashing sequence intercut with a prim ladies' garden talk was brilliant). Sinatra is a very interesting presence and I'd like to further explore his filmography.
On a side note, I wonder if this film was banned from being shown after the events of November '63. The assassin scenes are weirdly prescient of the decade to follow (as eerie as watching Snake Plissken land his plane on top of the WTC).
Today, we would realize that assassins are too obvious a weapon and that the only way to beat America is to out-America her with the precise tool of global capitalism - export of goods so cheap and plentiful that America can no longer compete. Brainwashing an assassin is way more interesting though.
A dated but nonetheless entertaining romp in the espionage noir thriller. The film is a bit campier than I suspected, but that should add to its charm.
A Korean War hero is brainwashed by the Russians ans Red Chinese to become an assassin.
SAW: at Norris Auditorium, with J.Y.
Intriguing story about mind control used in dirty political games and what it can do to a man to destroy his life and his self.
Every film that has ever been nominated for an Academy Award in any category. Enjoy!