Film Reviews, Short Review

The Manchurian Candidate (1962)


The Manchurian Candidate is a film very much embedded in the world of Cold War paranoia that was a part of life in the early 60s. With a byzantine plot featuring many a strange moment such as Janet Leigh and Frank Sinatra’s first meeting and some fantastic visual ideas throughout, it remains an engrossing film to this day. Aspects of it have dated – Angela Lansbury’s showstopping turn as the scheming manipulative Mrs. Iselin is fantastic, but Laurence Harvey’s performance was frankly overwrought and corny and the whole ‘let’s-cast-non-Asian-actors-in-Asian-roles’ habit is as strong here as it is ever was in Hollywood. Although it’s a little slow initially, this is otherwise a solid Cold War thriller.


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