All the films from all the editions, including those subsequently removed, presently totalling 1187. 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…
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…
The only Hollywood movie that belongs to the French New Wave.
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…
Adapted from Richard Condon's 1959 novel, John Frankenheimer's The Manchurian Candidate is a taut and riveting political thriller that is as terrifyingly relevant to today's world as it was when it was first released. Its stark, black and white cinematography heralds its transparent message- a bleak and alarming warning of the cultish practice of party politics. Conversely, it can also be viewed as a metaphor for freedom: the lackey-ish son, suffocating under the weight of an oppressive and controlling mother, unable to break the chains of her rigorous dominance.
The universality that can be applied to The Manchurian Candidate is perhaps what makes it Frankenheimer's greatest achievement. He was never one to shy away from pushing the boundaries of social…
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…
One of the best endings to a thriller that I can recall. And it's pretty evident that with this, Frankenheimer essentially singlehandedly birthed an entire genre. Embarrassing as hell that I hadn't seen this one until now.
A lot of the film feels like a huge suspension of disbelief, and I often feel like it's not convincing me to actually be part of it. Surprisingly lacking in tension, except for the glorious last assassination. Janet Leigh's character is so wispy thin that she shuffles in and out of the movie with no particular purpose other than to provide some sort of home life for Sinatra's character. The communist stuff is fascinating and even surprising in many ways. Lansbury, a terrific stage mom. B-
i shouldn't watch films that employ hypnosis when i'm inebriated. that shit fucks you up.
A gloriously creepy thriller. Frankenheimer's cinema verite approach works spectacularly. It gives the film weight, and makes the finale even more shocking.
Raymond Shaw is the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful human being I've ever known in my life.
MASTERPIECE, with a few things that bum me out, but definitvely out weighed by the amazing points
I just wish Frank Sinatra had never been allowed to act. And that they didn't cast white people as anything but white people.
A daring, funny, and far-out thriller about political extremists. George Axelrod adapted the Richard Condon novel, and John Frankenheimer came to life as a director. This picture plays some wonderful, crazy games about the Right and the Left; although it's a thriller, it may be the most sophisticated political satire ever made in Hollywood. With Angela Lansbury, Frank Sinatra, Laurence Harvey, Janet Leigh, James Gregory, John McGiver, Henry Silva, Madame Spivy, Whit Bissell, James Edwards, Leslie Parrish, Khigh Dhiegh, and Albert Paulsen. United Artists.
The Cold War was a strange and frightening time. The threat of nuclear war created an intense atmosphere of paranoia that had people looking over their shoulders and suspecting their neighbors. There was no scheme too outlandish for the Commies to pull in their efforts to undermine the West.
It was in this atmosphere that The Manchurian Candidate was released. It posits a scheme whereby the Chinese created a war hero with hypnotic conditioning to do whatever they wanted - even and especially kill. Though we know now that this is extraordinarily unlikely, at the time anything seemed possible. Even today, the prospect of a foreign power co-opting or having undue influence over a major political figure here in the…
UPDATED: December 4, 2016
The Criterion Collection is a video distribution company that sells "important classic and contemporary films" in…