Archive for December 13th, 2015

manchurian candidate
by Allan Fish
A little solitaire?
Note:  This review is part of the Frank Sinatra Blogathon run by Judy Geater and two others.  The host site is Emily at The VintageCameo.com. 
p  Howard W.Koch  d  John Frankenheimer  w  George Axelrod  novel  Richard Condon  ph  Lionel Lindon ed  Ferris Webster  m  David Amram  art  Richard Sylbert  cos  Moss Mabry
Frank Sinatra (Bennett Marco), Laurence Harvey (Raymond Shaw), Janet Leigh (Rosie), James Gregory (Sen.John Iselin), Angela Lansbury (Mrs Iselin), Henry Silva (Chunjim), John McGiver (Sen.Thomas Jordan), Knigh Dhiegh (Yen Lo), Whit Bissell,
The Manchurian Candidate is the film Oliver Stone would love to have made but never could, a film that subtly and nail-bitingly exposes the hypocrisy of political machination and the often blurred distinction between the so called ‘left’ and ‘right’.  Frankenheimer made several classic conspiracy movies in the sixties (see Seven Days in May and Seconds), but this is undoubtedly his masterpiece and one of the all-time great political films.  Not merely a thriller, not merely a military exposé, Candidate is also just what Pauline Kael said it was; “the most sophisticated political satire ever to come out of Hollywood.”
            In 1952 in Korea, an officer, Raymond Shaw, saves his group of men on patrol and receives the Medal of Honor for bravery.  All his former subordinates refer to him in an uncommonly generous, adulating way that seems detached from his gloomy, introspective personality.  Bennett Marco, who has been having nightmares about a brainwashing program conducted by the Soviet and Chinese governments, comes to believe his dream and thinks that Raymond is not all he says he is.  It turns out that he is merely an instrument in the machinations of some truly diabolical master plan. 


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