All the films from all the editions, including those subsequently removed, presently totalling 1167. 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…
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 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…
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…
This review reportedly contains spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Frank Sinatra and Laurence Harvey are former Korean War prisoners of war who were put through brain-washing while in captivity. Frank Sinatra fights through it while realizing his friend Harvey is still suffering from it and is being used for a political agenda by persons unknown. Janet Leigh is somewhat wasted in her role as the romantic interest for Sinatra but Angela Lansbury is aces as Harvey's mother, who dominates him like he's still a teenager. The tension, especially in the final quarter of the film, is palpable. There is a great twist, plus an unexpected moment immediately following the twist. Great film and very much recommended if you haven't seen it.
I'll never look at Angela Lansbury the same way again.
"I've been having this nightmare. A real swinger of a nightmare, too."
An utter triumph of twisted Cold War paranoia, equalled only by Kubrick's Dr. Strangelove, directed with a sure hand and a distinctly arthouse sensibility by John Frankenheimer. Every piece fits together with medical precision and every part is played to perfection. There's a sense of magic realism that permeates the proceedings; situations and characters project a hyper-realism that elevates the story to an entirely different, almost metaphysical level, creating a surreal landscape of melted personalities and subverted motivations that seem Daliesque in their distortion of accepted norms; a distinctly perverted and humorously dark sensibility that's practically Lynchian in its disregard for contemporary cinematic storytelling.
I've probably watched this…
Exciting and gripping suspense with some great camera work. I had heard a lot about this movie but the ending was still pretty shocking. And the brain washing demonstration from 3 different points of view is pretty cool.
An intriguing psychological thriller that manages to entertain and provoke thought, despite an opening third that is deliberately disorientating while some of the main characters piece together events that have cast a large shadow over their lives.
Nota = 7,5
Very good -- I see why it's a classic (and can't imagine there was any real reason to remake it).
Brilliantly constructed paranoia with an intense edge. Though shocking, it certainly doesn't entirely hold up but is still amongst its own greatness.
Should See, A-
Frank Sinatra is like, super sweaty.
Every film that has ever been nominated for an Academy Award in any category. Enjoy!