Friday Film: Dueling Manchurian Candidates

Which version is better? You decide!

The original (1962):

Manuchrian Candidate 1962 DVD cover

Featuring an all-star cast, including Angela Lansbury in an Oscar® nominated performance, this chilling and controversial (Leonard Maltin) film may be the most sophisticated political satire ever made (Pauline Kael). When a platoon of Korean War G.I.s is captured, they somehow end up at a ladies garden club party. Or do they? Major Bennett Marco (Frank Sinatra) can’t remember. As he searches for the answer, he discovers threads of a diabolical plot orchestrated by the utterly ruthless Mrs. Iselin (Lansbury) and involving her war hero son (Laurence Harvey), her senator husband (James Gregory) and a secret cabal of enemy leaders.   Jim Emerson,

Find it in GAVEL

The remake (2004):

Manchurian Candidate 2004 DVD cover

This classic of paranoid cinema from the 1960s, gets a cunning update, rife with hot-topic references to corporate war profiteering and electronic voting machines. Major Ben Marco (Denzel Washington, Training Day) has been haunted by nightmares ever since a firefight during the first Gulf War–a battle in which he believes he was saved by the heroism of Sgt. Raymond Shaw (Liev Schreiber, Kate & Leopold). But Marco’s nightmares suggest otherwise and drive him to investigate what happened, which may threaten Shaw’s candidacy for vice-president. Meryl Streep plays Shaw’s mother, a senior senator who manipulates everyone around her with an iron will and a sharp tongue.
–Bret Fetzer,

Find it in GAVEL

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