The Manchurian Candidate (1962) (Blu-ray Review)

The Manchurian Candidate (1962) (Blu-ray Review)

The Manchurian Candidate (1962) (Blu-ray Review)

📅07 March 2016, 22:48


The Manchurian Candidate (1962) (Blu-ray Review)
Directed By: John Frankenheimer
Starring: Frank Sinatra, Laurence Harvey, Janet Leigh
Rated: R/Region A/1:75/1080p/Number of Discs 1
Available from The Criterion Collection


A former Korean War POW is brainwashed by Communists into becoming a political assassin. But another former prisoner may know how to save him.


John Frankenheimer’s 1962 thriller starring ol’ Blue Eyes (Frank Sinatra) is the perfect film to watch around election season. The movie may be a bit dated in a few minor ways now, but the creepy vibe it has remains. Like I said, this is a thriller, one that does a fine job of building tension and introducing us to a world filled with conspiracy and even some hand to hand action. Yet you still can’t deny the weirdness and eerie vibe this one gives off, especially when we are taken back to the flash back segments of us seeing what has happened to these guys we see once they were sorta railroaded into enemy hands. We get more than a few shocking moments and we have moments where things are pretty darn violent for a 1962 thriller. It’s one thing to see a good solid film about the cold way, but it is another when you actually see moments where a brain washed solider willingly blows the brains of someone out and we cut to the splatter. I guess in some ways you could say a film like this is really ahead of its time, even if I do think the movie has some slower portions. Those slower portions would clearly be the only issues I’d see in a film like this. One that is as solid as one could be on just about everything outside of the pacing. It should probably go without saying, but if you are still looking for one solid reason to see this, I’d name drop Frank Sinatra, because he does a great job here and I’d rank it among his best screen work.

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Without spoiling anything, this movie does pack one of the best scenes you’ll find in cinema with the “garden party” scene. That scene along makes a movie like this, because it is just so good. The movie also has some great camera work and editing that I’d also call ahead of its time and all these things come together to hold up the film during any “down time” the movie might have. They rarely make movies like this these days, even when they try to remake it. In other good news, this Blu-rays comes to us from the good folks over at Criterion on a new 4K scan that looks as flawless as any movie from 1962 could possibly look. I can’t find a single bad thing to say about the way this discs looks and if you are all about the HD, then you’ve come to the right place if you pick-up a copy of The Manchurian Candidate. You also get a whole list of great extras, that I’ve listed below. So, come for the good film, but stick around for seeing such great names as Frank Sinatra, Janet Leigh, and Angela Lansbury do some great work in the comforting eye-catching glow of a 4k scanned transfer.



– Interview with Angela Lansbury
– Interview with Errol Morris
– Interview with Susan Carruthers
– Archive Interview John Frankenheimer, Frank Sinatra and George Axelrod
– Audio Commentary with Director John Frankenheimer

Quality of Transfer: 100%


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