Monday, September 30, 2013

389. The Manchurian Candidate

The Manchurian Candidate
Directed by John Frankenheimer

For some reason, I love movies that have freaky moms.  I find scary mothers more frightening than anything in the horror genre.  Probably why I still can't take a shower in a shower that has a curtain.  In any case, this was a great movie: chilling, exciting, and well acted.

This is the story of Raymond Shaw, who is brainwashed into becoming an assassin any time someone asks him to play solitaire.  We also get a great performance out of Sinatra as Captain Marco, Raymond's platoon commander that begins to suspect that something is seriously wrong with him.

I haven't seen a really good movie in awhile and now that I have I am having trouble organizing my thoughts.  Like I said, the acting is just fantastic: Angela Lansbury as Raymond's sociopathic mother is truly frightening.  This isn't meant to be a horror film, but I certainly got freaked out when Mrs. Shaw would come on the screen.  We also get great set design; even looking at the above picture you see that the whole film is kind of surrealist; it gives the impression that you aren't even safe in your own mind.

And, of course, there is a political message here as well as the right winged politicians who wildly accuse random people of communism in order to elevate themselves in politics are shown to be complete psychopaths.

A fantastic movie and I will definitely have to check out the remake.

RATING: *****

Interesting Facts:

The army doctor in this film was the first time a black actor was cast for a role that wasn't specifically written for a black person.

An incestuous relationship between Raymond and his mother is heavily implied.



  1. I may have to watch this movie again. I remember it being an interesting and good way. Definitely worth watching and seeing what I think of it 20 years later.

  2. I agree, a great political thriller! And a welcome relief from all of the foreign and art films that critics feel compelled to add to these lists. I demand more John Wayne!

  3. Haha The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance is coming up!

  4. Yeah, this was a great surprise, and a totally freaky mum. On a list of worst movie mums Mrs. Shaw would be pretty high.

    1. Definitely! After Carrie's mom and Joan Crawford.