The Manchurian Candidate (1962) Blu-ray review

Filmmaking over five decades is certain to change a great deal, and John Frankenheimer was there to adapt and improve over this amount of time with an array of impressive films to show for it. Able to capture on-screen action and violence with remarkable efficiency, Frankenheimer’s sequences are recognizable immediately. From the violent death of a blind 15-year-old Puerto Rican boy in the opening sequences of The Young Savages to the breathtaking car chases of Ronin, this collection shows the best of the director’s ability with violence and suspense.

Undoubtedly considered Frankenheimer’s masterpiece, and still shocking to this day, The Manchurian Candidate was remade with the best of intentions and not nearly the capacity for chills as this incredible thriller has. Singer turned actor Frank Sinatra stars as Major Bennett Marco, a man who was in the same platoon as the son of an important political figure in the Korean War. Since the war Marco has been dreaming that they were kidnapped and attended a ladies’ garden club party, which is the soldiers actually being brainwashed for a plan to be used later on. Attempting to discover the entire plan, Marco delves deep into a conspiracy having to do with a Senator and Presidential race.

            The Blu-ray release of this classic political thriller includes exclusive interviews with Sinatra, George Axelrod and Frankenheimer. Frankenheimer’s director’s commentary also finds its way onto this high definition release, as do three featurettes and a trailer, all previously released on DVD. The highlight is the high definition, as the special features are lacking any new improvements.

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