John Frankenheimer

John Frankenheimer

John Frankenheimer Quick Links

News Film RSS

The Manchurian Candidate (1962) Review


Extraordinary
Possibly John Frankenheimer's finest film, The Manchurian Candidate speaks to the Red Scare, the horrors of war, paranoid fears of brainwashing -- all tied in with the game of Solitaire. Frankenheimer owes a lot to George Axelrod's script and Richard Condon's gripping novel, which tells the story of a perfectly brainwashed soldier (during the Korean War), played by Laurence Harvey, who becomes a no-remorse assassin after capture and brianwashing by the enemy. His target and handler are both kept as mysteries until the end, but it's Frank Sinatra as an old war buddy who's suffering terrible nightmares that brings it all to light.

The film, as compelling as it is, is almost undone by Sinatra's performance, which is capable but unequal to his co-stars. Sinatra, of course, had so much power during the making of the film, that he's never really pushed for a good take. As a result, weaker scenes have been left in, presumably due to Sinatra's notorious unwillingness to do retakes. Too bad, because they're needed here badly. It's little matter, though: The Manchurian Candidate's classic structure and breakneck pacing are a perfect match for the movie's incredible story punch to the gut. George Axelrod's script turns Richard Condon's novel into classic cinema. Its suspense is gripping, and its biting political statement (lambasting McCarthyism deeply) is unparalleled in cinema this side of a Michael Moore movie.

Continue reading: The Manchurian Candidate (1962) Review

John Frankenheimer

John Frankenheimer Quick Links

News Film RSS
Advertisement

Occupation

Filmmaker


Suggested

Album of the Week: Appreciating Sounds of Silence with Simon and Garfunkel

Album of the Week: Appreciating Sounds of Silence with Simon and Garfunkel

'Sounds of Silence' was released on this day (January 17th) in 1966.

Alex Bayly addresses the wild side of humanity on 'Animal'

Alex Bayly addresses the wild side of humanity on 'Animal'

Listen to Alex Bayly performing 'Animal'.

Advertisement
Dry Cleaning - Ramsgate Music Hall 12.01.2020 Live Review

Dry Cleaning - Ramsgate Music Hall 12.01.2020 Live Review

Two weeks ahead of Independent Venue Week, Dry Cleaning made 'Britain's Best Small Venue 2015' (NME) the second port of call on their 2020 tour.

Album of the Week: The Ramones' often overlooked sophomore release 'Leave Home'

Album of the Week: The Ramones' often overlooked sophomore release 'Leave Home'

'Leave Home' was released on this day (January 10th) in 1977.

The Libertines - The Winter Gardens, Margate, Kent 22.12.2019 Live Review

The Libertines - The Winter Gardens, Margate, Kent 22.12.2019 Live Review

For their last gig of the year, The Libertines came back to their adopted hometown of Margate to finish off their latest tour.

The Legend of David Bowie: The Birthday Playlist

The Legend of David Bowie: The Birthday Playlist

Celebrating the birthday of David Bowie with his most legendary songs.

Advertisement

John Frankenheimer Movies

Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.