Watch The Manchurian Candidate
- 2 hr 9 min
The Manchurian Candidate is a remake of a black and white Cold War thriller from the 1960s that originally starred Frank Sinatra, Laurence Harvey and Angela Lansbury. It was based on a novel by Richard Condon, who also wrote “3 Days of the Condor”. The plot revolved around former American POWs who may have been subjected to brainwashing by Chinese communist forces and the political intrigue aftermath when one of them may have been programmed as an unwitting assassin. The remake features Denzel Washington and Liev Schreiber in the Sinatra and Harvey roles, respectively, and Meryl Streep in the Angela Lansbury part. The plot has been updated to take place in a post Iraq War setting. Whereas the original played on racial stereotypes of Asians (it even included Henry Silva in yellowface as a Chinese assassin spy who attacks Sinatra), the remake poses questions regarding the US government’s possible involvement in psych warfare, adding to the intrigue. The ubiquitous presence of the media in the Information Age and a greater sense of geopolitical cynicism gives this remake a different contextual twist, which allows it to stand apart from the original film and offer some unique perspectives and surprises.