Coinciding with the release of Jonathan Demme’s updated “remake,” the original “MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE” is being re-released as a new special edition.
Frank Sinatra and Laurence Harvey star in this gripping tale set during the Korean War. When Sinatra and his platoon are captured and imprisoned in Manchuria, they’re brainwashed into believing that Harvey rescued them all. His alleged heroics are part of an elaborate plan to get him into celebrated enough to pull off an assassination when he’s triggered to do so. However, Sinatra continues to have the same nightmare having to do with his brainwashing experience, every night. Together with Harvey, they try to decipher what really happened to them, and what it all means.
Everyone here, including Sinatra, is magnificent! Angela Lansbury gives a performance that will convince anyone of her talent. Meryl Streep is assuming her role in the remake, and it’s one to be reckoned with.
MGM has improved the transfer over its previous non-anamorphic release. The black&white imagery is flawless. Contrast is perfect, with deep blacks and grays. Detail is wonderful.
MGM has included the original mono track, but has also included a new 5.1 mix too. It’s not an overprocessed mix, or particularly immersive. However, when music or effects are used, it’s excellent! Dialogue is always intelligible and free from distortion.
The great Frankenheimer of the previous release is here, as well as an interview with Sinatra, writer George Axelrod and the director. An interview with Lansbury, comments by William Friedkin and a photo galler are all new. This is a wonderful disc and should be in every collection!