- Acting of Lead Performers
- Acting of Supporting Cast
- Music Score
- Title Sequence
- Historical Importance
- Would You Recommend?
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The Manchurian Canidate
Overall-4/5 Lead Performers-4/5 Supporting Cast-4/5 Director-4/5 Score-4/5 Screenplay-4/5 Cinematography-4/5 Importance-4/5 Recommendation for fans of the genre-4/5
Worth another review
With all the responses to this terrific film. it certainly is not in need of another. However, I want to express that this wonderful gem is one film I take the opportunity to watch any time it is shown. I get just as much enjoyment out of the marvelous performances, especially, Angela Lansbury's and that of Frank Sinatra, each and every time. Thank you, TCM, for each time you show this true classic.
- Barbara LEIF
I can watch this film again and again. Over and over again and enjoy it each and every time. The writing, the direction, the acting by the four principals is top notch. I think it's one of the finest films that I have ever seen.
A Must See!
I think this is one of those films you just need to see for yourself and draw your own conclusions about it. It's hard to even describe and every time I see it I'm left with a different thought (all basically in the "Yikes!" genre). Last night it got me thinking about being brainwashed and how maybe we're all subtly subjected to mild brainwashing techniques in our everyday lives. Yeah, this is not stuff I normally think about, but watching this movie late at night while I couldn't sleep had that effect on me. I do agree with the other reviewer about the Janet Leigh character - I kept expecting her to have sinister designs, but I suppose that actually helps with the whole suspense thing in wondering who the heck is she. Angela Lansbury was certainly awesome in her role and I was really surprised to learn she was only 37. Frank Sinatra was really good too. He tuned down the "Frank Sinatra" so I got to see him as Major Marco which I'm glad he did. This is one of those films you need to see just to see it and then store it in your mental vault.
ALOT OF COMPARISONS
- william gauslow
Notice the actor nominated for Vice President looks alot like Richard Nixon. Richard Nixon was in Dallas, Texas on November 22, 1963. Gives me the creeps. Very good movie.
Top notch thriller
The never to be equaled original that deserves every bit of the praise it's received over the years. This is a combination of story, screenplay, and cast that only comes along once in a while. A virtual textbook on building suspense. Perhaps a bit far fetched in the way Rosie (Janet Leigh) falls for a complete stranger (Frank Sinatra) who is so obviously on the raw edge. How many would really take such a risk in real life? But the rest of this film is almost surreal anyway, so I don't think it's totally out of place. Don't miss the fight scene between Sinatra and Henry Silva. It's one of the best ever. I also agree that this is probably not the best for young audiences.
TCM needs to update their resource re this film, as it has been available on DVD for nearly ten years! In fact, when my brother-in-law saw the remake, I instantly went out and purchased the original for his comparison. His reaction to the remake vs. the original was that the remake was "trash" - and I couldn't agree more! This film is really creepy and too life-like scarey. Lawrence Harvey is terrific as the tortured and manipulated son of an ambition crazed Mother. Angela Lansbury's performance as the Mother has you wanting to off her yourself! This is strictly an adult film and children should not see it. It is a psychological thriller exploring the use of drugs in brainwashing and war. Frank Sinatra, as the soldier who unravels the entire plot, is excellent and his performance made me wish he had been given more films than he was given where he could have shown us how really good he was as an actor. I would only add that, with the advent of technology and psychotropic drugs today, this could easily be done in real life and probably already has. It scares the wits out of you to think of it this way!
Instantly be a favorite!
Harvey is the best character... He made the greatest appearance of his career. One of the greatest American films ever made! A must-see!
This film is as "loveable" as it gets!
- Patrick C.
This film will make you; fright, cry, and cheer. This IS one of the greatest films ever made! Recommended for every movie lover!
The Manchurian Candidate
- Dashiell Barnes
A tense, excellently-made political thriller. Sinatra & Harvey are both equally good, Leigh's character isn't nessicary & Lansbury gives her best performance, winning a Golden Globe. Oscar-nominated editing & documentary-style photography add to the suspence of the Cold War era. A great, chilling film. I give it a 4.5/5.
Deep and shallow
- Jeff Boston
Political thriller with the two-faced (Communist Yen Lo "spending the afternoon at Macy's"), multi-faced (power mad mother), and faceless (brainwashed assassin), "The Manchurian Candidate" is a deep movie with a cool karate fight and a kooky conversation on a train. However, far left Frankenheimer's film is painfully shallow in its treatment of the sole character obviously a Democrat: a man of humor, intelligence, and grit; and as a walking tumor; the personification of idiocy (he's actually called an idiot in way too many scenes); a man not worth a spit the sole character obviously a Republican (a sad caricature of Senator Joseph McCarthy). Odd that the same character modeled after McCarthy and arguably Richard Nixon, too (became Vice Prez at the height of the McCarthy era and made his name fighting communism as well) is in a film produced and released during the presidency of Jack Kennedy, a good, longtime friend of both McCarthy and Nixon.
great casting(sans L.Ball)
I heard on TCM that Lucille Ball had been considered/requested, for the role of "Mother" ...how can that be?? She is one of the most beloved comediennes of all time. This movie required credibility ... even Ms. Lansbury is a stretch in my mind. However, it was made in 1962 ... Angela was a serious actress so I can appreciate that choice. "Mother" scared the bejeebers out of me !
Madison Square Garden III
- Cary Moy
My favorite star of this movie is actually the third Madison Square Garden, which served as the convention hall. The part when Raymond Shaw (Laurence Harvey), disguised as a priest, walks to his sniper's perch provided a rather detailed look at the inside of the historic sports arena. One could actually count the rows of seats in each of the levels on the side. For someone who was too young to have visited this Garden but is intrigued by it, always a sight to behold even if the images were in black & white.
- gwen hancock
upon reading several reviews of the movie in question, I have noticed people offer various opinions as to the reason the movie was so called "shelved" for several years! This happens to be true but it was Frank Sinatras influence, and his great admiration, love, and respect for Former President John F Kennedy. Kennedy and Sinarta were close friends, and Sinarta had a large behind-the-scene effort in getting kennedy elected! Sinarta was devasted by the death of his friend, and had a strange and malevolent feeling towards the movie for life!
Rare and honest film to come out of Hollywood
Most political films out of Hollywood portray the political right as the enemy (Seven Days In May) but this is the exception, it actually shows communism as an evil entity. Maybe that is why this film was shelved for al the years that it was.
An outstanding film.....made and released at a grim time in our history. Maybe more true than we may want to believe.
- Bob Hendrick
I have mixed feelings about this film. On the positive side, Angela Lansbury and Laurence Harvey are excellent. Some scenes in the film are brilliantly conceived (like the brainwashing of the soldiers). A haunting score by David Amram. On the negative side, the uneven screenplay by George Axelrod did little to improve on Ludlum's dialogue. The exchange between Sinatra and Janet Leigh on the train, was confusing and totally unbelievable. The scene where Sinatra supposedly "unbrainwashes" Harvey's character is preposterous. The ending is suspenseful and exiting. So what we have here is a movie with a good beginning, and a good ending. What's in between, runs the gamut from brilliant to silly.
This is a great movie; very powerful and a little disturbing. It offers a wonderful,creepy performance by Angela Landsbury. This original is way better than the remake a few years ago.
Casting mother's roll
- Minky Phillippe
Gentlemen: I would like to see this film remade and at the same time cast Hillary Clinton as Sgt. Raymond Shaws power hungry mother--- that is of course, the same part Angela Lansbury played in the original film. production.
fantastic and brilliant
frankenheimer really blew us away with one as astounding directorial job the brainwashing scenes are utter brillance without really showing off the dark humor in the screenplay is a pleasure to listen to and angela gives the best performance by an actress in a suppporting role ever period hands down
The Ending Blew Me Away
One of the best and first thrillers I've seen yet.This movie's got a few surprises I did not see coming, and it keeps you wondering about the untied loose ends long after the movie is over.I even had trouble sleeping after I saw it. This picture's got a stellar performance by Angela Lansbury.I saw it just to see her in it, because I loved her in Murder,She Wrote. Also, the climax near the end of the movie kept me at the edge of my seat. I definitely recommend this picture to fans of action movies and other thrillers like Die Hard and Phone Booth. And heck, maybe after seeing this, you can rent the 2004 remake starring Denzel Washington and Meryl Streep.
The best paranoid thriller
Perhaps director John Frankenheimer's best work. Numerous memorable scenes and set pieces. Hard to believe sweet, lovable Jessica Fletcher (Angela Lansbury) could play one of the most evil villains ever to appear on movie screens. But she does and is superb. The Cold War may be long over, but in many ways this film is still as relevant as ever. Highly recommended.
Great Political Thriller
The "ladies garden party" scene is one of my all-time favorites--fantastic editing and brilliant use of the camera.