The Manchurian Candidate

DVD - 1998
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
The Manchurian Candidate
A U.S. Army platoon, captured in the Korean conflict, is whisked to Manchuria for three nightmarish days of experimental drug-and-hypnosis-induced conditioning that transforms the men into human time bombs. Returned to the United States as war heroes, one of them is used by his mother to promote her Joseph McCarthy-like husband's political career.

Publisher: Santa Monica, CA : MGM Home Entertainment [distributor, 1998]
ISBN: 0792861582
Branch Call Number: DVD Drama MANCHURIA
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (129 min.) :,sd., b&w, double sided ;,4 3/4 in


From Library Staff

Mrs. Iselin (Angela Lansbury) has plans for her Medal of Honor-winning son in this story of treason and mind control.

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Feb 02, 2015
  • jaqmartial rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

This original version is better than the remake.

Jul 17, 2014
  • voisjoe1 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

One mid-20th century theory is that a person could be brain-washed into hypnotically doing something really evil. The American government was actually experimenting with drugs to get humans to do things they were against doing. But most of today's scientists think it is not possible to program people to do things they are fundamentally opposed to do. So the plot of this film is really sci-fi. Combined with thriller and political camp and humor, it is great beyond all expectations. Shockingly, it was totally out of circulation for several decades after its initial release. The American Film Institute rated it as one of the best 100 American films of all time. But when viewing, remember this is total fiction. Do not go around like some people saying the moon landing was faked just because they saw it in a film. See if you can detect which character is based upon Senator Joe McCarthy and which is based upon Roy Cohn. Yeah, the brainwashing theory is fictional, but America did really endure the horrible period of McCarthyism.

Jul 17, 2014
  • POLITICSOWNSUS rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

I cannot give this film a higher rating because despite the fact that it is about BRAINWASHING,this is still a PRO-MILITARY INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX,PRO-COMMUNIST PROPAGANDA,and PRO-WHITE PRIVILEGE predictive programming,behavior placement disguised as one of the so-called greatest films of all time period.The very shocking murders (especially the last 2 murders) really does help it's cause though.If only the film would have explicitly admitted that it is PRO-MK ULTRA.It almost does that actually in one scene.POLITICS OWNS US,BUT YOU DON'T HEAR ME THOUGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Dec 28, 2013
  • pegasus71 rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

This seems a very dated film in today’s world, though an understandable work which came out of the Cold World era. The plot is a kind of satiric pastiche of Communist conspiracy, POW brainwashing, and McCarthyism, themes that were major issues during the 50s. (Condon’s book upon which the movie was based was published in 1959). Probably the most startling aspect of the film when viewed today is its prescient exposition of political assassination, with the film being released merely a year before an actual assassination of a U.S. president occurred. Though I’ve not read Condon’s book, the screenplay by George Axelrod seemed at times to strain one’s credulity from the standpoint of simple plot logic, with the character of Eugenie Rose Chaney played by Janet Leigh thrown in simply to give the film and Frank Sinatra’s character Major Bennett Marco the benefit of a currently popular female movie star. She certainly served no purpose as concerns the development of plot. Overall, the film doesn’t seem to hold up very well and, in my opinion, has value mostly as an historical cinematic memento which chronicles themes of the Cold War.

Nov 15, 2013
  • lukasevansherman rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

The grandaddy of the paranoid political thriller film.

Oct 29, 2013
  • eusebius rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Still terrifying after all these years. What happened to those two soldiers in Korea haunts me to this day. Great performances, it should go without saying.

Jun 02, 2013
  • marcellmurray rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Nothing trivial about it-5/5 stars! Instant classics and old movies for that matter are the best! Everything from the background to the inside scoop and building is genuinely beautiful. :D As the years go by, everything will be false, CGI is taken to a whole new level, and depending on the creator, producer and plot-it's just sad to watch. But not this Movie! ;) Any and all comments will be redundant, as the amazing Mr. Monolith has taken the words out of my mouth! ;)

Dec 17, 2012
  • Monolith rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

A powerful film, co-written and directed by John Frankenheimer, (Birdman of Alcatraz, etc.). Reminiscent of 'mass hysteria' topics of the day -- such as Soviet Communism; Chinese brainwashing; a corrupt, imbecilic, Joseph McCarthy-like senator; assassination... Highly sensitive issues in '62 -- delicate, for example, because of the Cuban missile crisis; and it was roughly one year before the before the death of President Kennedy. Excellent performances by Sinatra and Lansbury. Terrific piece. FIVE STARS.

Aug 08, 2011
  • AtomicFez rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

The darkest and possibly most anti-American Dream film to ever come out of the Kennedy Era. Brilliant, tight, and suspenseful writing about psychosis and xenophobia from a time that asked for anything but this. If only Hollywood was as rebellious now...


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Jun 02, 2013
  • marcellmurray rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

"It takes the Pain out of Campaign-that's what I say!"

Dec 17, 2012
  • Monolith rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Raymond Shaw: "My dear girl, have you ever noticed that the human race is divided into two distinct and irreconcilable groups: those that walk into rooms and automatically turn television sets on, and those that walk into rooms and automatically turn them off. The trouble is that they end up marrying each other."

Dec 11, 2011
  • DavidB rated this: 2.5 stars out of 5.

Raymond Shaw is the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful human being I've ever known in my life


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