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Non-Review Review: The Manchurian Candidate (1962)

The Manchurian Candidate is a rather wonderful piece of Cold War paranoia, with a handy bit of social commentary and a rather surrealist perspective thrown in on top. John Frankenheimer’s vision remains unnerving because of its occasionally absurd and strange imagery and subtext, much of which remains unsettling long after the end of the Cold War. While The Manchurian Candidate remains a fascinating story, and one which has seeped into pop cultural consciousness, It’s Frankenheimer’s direction that elevates the film, managing to convince the audience that there is some meaning and purpose to all the bizarre imagery and interactions.

Play your cards right…

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Non-Review Review: The Manchurian Candidate (2004)

I actually quite enjoyed Jonathan Demme’s 2004 remake of The Manchurian Candidate, even if it seems to lack the same clear political bite of the novel and original film version of the tale. In many respects, Demme’s film adaptation is a triumph of atmosphere, featuring a superb cast and a perpetual sense of uncertainty. While its politics seem a bit less provocative and engaging than the source material, Demme is still a superb film maker. There’s a wonderful sense of unease and discomfort that seems to pervade every frame of the film, with the politics of the movie perhaps the only facet that is never unclear.

The naked truth…

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