cinema review: The Manchurian Candidate (1962)

I never knew Frank Sinatra's entertainment skills included acting. He did a great job in this movie. The only thing not great about his performance was his karate scene. It was so bad, it was realistic. In fact it was real enough that Sinatra actually broke his hand in the scene. Ironically, today in 1950, Senator Joseph McCarthy made his claim that the State Department had card carrying Communist party members in its employ. This story twists McCarthyism on its ear by suggesting the finger pointers were actually collaborators with the Russians and Chinese Communist governments. Every scene with the unnamed "bad" party in the movie was filmed with busts of Lincoln. Every scene with the unnamed "good" party was filmed with bald eagles and American flags. I don't understand why a movie in 1962 was filmed in black and white, but it only detracted from one scene, the American flag rendered in caviar. I wish I had seen that in color. Angela Lansbury looks the same as she did 100 years later in the TV series, Murder She Wrote. Perhaps she really did have ice in her veins like that character who would eat her own young. She was creepy. Great movie, though.


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