The Manchurian Candidate - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Manchurian Candidate Reviews

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August 12, 2017
A rather disturbing and effective political thriller. The way Lansbury so unapologetically takes advantage of her son is something to behold.
August 5, 2017
1962 U.S. political thriller that included the subject of Communism that seemed to scare America at the height of the Cold War with the Communist Soviet Union.
The story begins in the Korean War as a platoon of US soldiers is captured and taken to Manchuria in Communist China. One of the captives Raymond Shaw (Laurence Harvey) is brainwashed by his holders to be an assassin.
Shaw becomes a U.S. hero awarded the highest medal in the U.S. the Medal of Honor as he seemingly saves the lives of the platoon risking his own life in the process.
The liberated prisoners return to the U.S. after the war hiwever Shaw's dangerous brainwashing continues with lethal consequences as he murders several politicians in the process.
The film features Angela Lansbury as Shaw's power hungry mother Eleanor Iselin who enjoys a fraught relationship with her son and is now married to a Republican Senator.
Lansbury is perhaps best known as television sleuth from the 1980s Jessica Fletcher off Murder, She Wrote. A do gooder character with questionable relatives!
Well in this film Lansbury is a villain. A good one at that.
She conspires with the Communists to elevate her husband's political career and her own power.
She uses her son's brainwashing for her own purposes toward the end of the film in an assassination sequence at the Republican Presidential nomination convention at Madison square garden.
The film was released only a year prior to the assassination of John. F. Kennedy. There is a theory that another actor in the film, Frank Sinatra purchased the rights to the film shortly after release and kept the film unavailable until 1988 as guilt for Kennedy's death. Did the plight of character Raymond Shaw inspire Lee Harvey Oswald?
A film I had never considered viewing is not a film in a blockbuster sense. It is more of a satire of the 1960s climate of the United States that I had only paid lip service to.
Definitely worth a viewing.
July 20, 2017
A political thriller that is not only smart but very entertaining and impossible to forget.
June 22, 2017
The Manchurian Candidate is very well acted with Angela Lansbury giving a standout, memorable performance, but the film is overlong, static in quality, so incredibly dull and never at all engaging or thrilling and thus it fails as a thriller and it is one very overrated film in my opinion.
June 14, 2017
great cast. even greater direction. Angela Lansbury steals the movie. Best line of dialogue : "12 days of Christmas? 1 day is entirely loathsome enough" There's a reason this has stayed a classic
May 10, 2017
Nine soldiers in the Korean War are heroically rescued by the stoic Raymond Shaw (Laurence Harvey). He wins the Congressional Medal of Honor for his deeds, but it turns out that this hero has been mentally conditioned by foreign powers to become an assassin . It's up to one of his former comrades (Frank Sinatra) to get to the bottom of things before a puppet gets installed in the White House. The Manchurian Candidate has long been a go-to when it comes to classic films about spies, conspiracy, and Cold War paranoia. John Frankenheimer's tight direction and some striking visuals play a role in this film's longevity, but its dominant virtue is undoubtedly Angela Lansbury's chilling, dynamic performance as Raymond's mother.
April 21, 2017
Filled with political punches from both wings, as well as a twisted, complex, dark plot, this cold war paranoia film basically succumbs to its own suicidal mission: to demonstrate the raw tragedy of intolerance.
April 14, 2017
A disturbing and satirically substructured movie that was made over 50 years ago and it's just as fresh as it was 1962.
April 10, 2017
10 out of 10:

The Manchurian Candidate manages to be intense, intriguing, smart, full of twists and turns, well acted and beautifully shot, while also being one of the most influential and thought provoking movies.
½ April 4, 2017
A quintessential political thriller, with a few loose ends. What was Janet Leigh there for anyway?
March 27, 2017
Is Donald Trump the actual Manchurian Candidate???
March 12, 2017
Excellent film. Deeply moving story.
January 30, 2017
Compelling movie, it pulled me in the moment I began watching
and did not let go.
January 29, 2017
The late Laurence Harvey (Raymond Shaw) and the late Frank Sinatra (Bennett Marco) are both excellent in this compelling and well made suspense thriller. Angela Lansbury is just as excellent as Shaw schemeing mother. Despite the fact that the age difference between Harvey and Lansbury is only three years they were very convincing in the respective roles. I did not care much for the role of Sinatra's love interest played by Janet Leigh. It seemed like a throwaway role. She instantly falls in love with Sinatra's character after he has a breakdown in which he knocks over furniture and breaks drinking glasses. Still despite this otherwise tiny flaw there is a great deal to like about this classic movie. See it once and you will immediately understand why it is so well regarded.
January 14, 2017
While the thrills sometimes feel underwhelming, its message is not remotely subtle.
Super Reviewer
December 5, 2016
The film's concept sounds like outrageous Cold War propaganda but in execution it's a thoroughly surreal and cynical thriller that has very little to do with political or patriotic ideology. Further proof of Frankenheimer's underated brilliance.
½ November 28, 2016
94%
Saw this on 26/11/16
Director Frankenheimer's craft is always resonant in this unusually mature political thriller from the old Hollywood. It's biggest virtue is that it is clearly able to stand apart from the other film of it's period because it chooses to tackle serious issues. There are some stupidities such as the unnecessary romance in the film, especially with Janet Leigh who's character is extremely unnecessary in the film. Other than that it is extremely important film that even had the balls to include violence in it.
November 15, 2016
Arguably the most suspenseful film Sinatra made. Great cast and direction make this an instant classic. On Blu-ray and in The Criterion Collection.
½ November 7, 2016
Classic movie! Great acting, mind-bending plot, and very thought-provoking film. The only thing I didn't like was the ending. It was just a bit predictable, but still good nonetheless.
November 5, 2016
Likeable Cold War era political thriller is as relevant today as it was then.
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