Watch The Manchurian Candidate
- 2 hr 6 min
In 1962, director John Frankenheimer brought to the big screen a political thriller that would forever be remembered. The Manchurian Candidate is a film that resonates with the American spirit and with the Cold War paranoia that was prevalent during that time. The story follows Captain Bennett Marco, played by Frank Sinatra, and Sergeant Raymond Shaw, played by Laurence Harvey, two soldiers from the Korean War. The two men, along with the rest of their platoon, were captured by the North Koreans and subjected to brainwashing. After their release, they are sent back to the United States and resume their normal lives.
But Marco begins to have nightmares about Shaw, and strange events happen that make him question his own sanity. He soon discovers that Shaw has been brainwashed to become a sleeper agent for a communist conspiracy operating in the United States. Shaw's mother, played by Angela Lansbury, is the manipulative and calculating person behind this scheme, and she wants to use her son to assassinate a prominent politician who is runing for president.
Janet Leigh plays the role of Eugenie Rose Chaney, a woman who falls in love with Marco and helps him uncover the conspiracy. Her character provides a different perspective on the situation, as she is not involved in the military or the political arena. Her relationship with Marco brings a human element to the story, and it also creates a sense of urgency as they race against time to stop Shaw from commiting the assassination.
The Manchurian Candidate is a movie that explores the themes of loyalty, duty, and patriotism. It shows the power of manipulation and mind control and how even the most honorable soldiers can become weapons in the wrong hands. The film also reflects the political turmoil of the early 1960s, as the war in Vietnam was escalating and the fear of communism grew stronger.
But despite the dramatic and suspenseful plot, The Manchurian Candidate is also a beautifully crafted film. Frankenheimer's direction is impressive, with excellent use of camera angles and lighting to create tension, and the black and white cinematography gives the movie a noir-like atmosphere.
The performances of the cast are outstanding. Sinatra delivers a nuanced and complex portrayal of a soldier struggling with his sense of reality. Harvey is brilliant as Shaw, an enigmatic figure torn between his loyalty to his mother and his desire for personal freedom. Lansbury's performance is chilling, as she embodies the ruthless and manipulative personality of her character.
Finally, the movie also features a powerful ending that leaves the audience questioning the nature of reality and the impact of propaganda on the individual. The Manchurian Candidate is a thought-provoking and thrilling film that has stood the test of time and remains relevant to this day.
In conclusion, The Manchurian Candidate is a classic political thriller that combines excellent direction, cinematography, and acting to create a powerful and engaging experience. The story is well-crafted and thought-provoking, with a mix of suspense, drama, and intrigue that keeps the audience on the edge of their seats. The film is a must-see for anyone interested in the history of cinema and the complex and multifaceted nature of the human psyche.
The Manchurian Candidate is a 1962 thriller with a runtime of 2 hours and 6 minutes. It has received outstanding reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.9 and a MetaScore of 94.