The Manchurian Candidate – 1962

I’m not usually one to watch the remake of a movie before I watch the original, but in this case I did.  I watched the Denzel Washington version the year it came out without knowing any real specifics of the original.  I found the new version entertaining and fascinating to watch, with really wonderful actors – so I was excited to watch the original, convinced it had to be better.

I found some of it terribly overacted (James Gregory, I’m looking at you) but overall it’s a film I’d watch again.  Frank Sinatra was, well, Frank Sinatra (did he invent the word “broad” to refer to a woman?  It feels like he did) and Angela Lansbury was wonderfully wicked.  Laurence Harvey, though, left me cold. I found his voice distracting (I can’t figure out why.  His accent is fine but his voice just annoys me) and I didn’t really feel any sympathy for him at the end of the film (unlike Liev Schreiber in the remake, who I thought did a great job of making me feel sorry for his situation).

One thing I took special note of was how violent this film was without being graphic…and it worked.  I didn’t need to see brains splashing out all over the place.  I didn’t need to see the gore to understand the horror of what was happening.  I enjoyed that.

I’ll probably give this one another watch…maybe with some other folks so I can get their take on it.

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