Sunday, 27 March 2011

The Manchurian candidate!!! Movie to Watch out for!!!


 

The Manchurian Candidate(1962) 

Movie Synopsis: 

Raymond Shaw is an insufferable man, who came back from the Korean War awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. He distances from his domineering mother. His C.O. Ben Marco has been having nightmares that lead him to believe that the circumstances that led to Raymond getting the medal are not true. While his superiors don't think he knows what he is talking about, he is sent on leave. And when he goes to visit Raymond, he meets his valet whom he believes, through his dream, betrayed him in Korea. He fights him and is arrested, when he goes to see Raymond, he learns that another man from their unit also has the same dream. When his superiors learn of this they decide to give him a chance to find out what's going on. 

Movie Synopsis:During the Korean War, the Soviets capture an American platoon and take them to Manchuria in Communist China. After the war, the soldiers return to the United States, and Staff Sergeant Raymond Shaw (Laurence Harvey) is credited with saving their lives in combat. Upon the recommendation of the platoon's commander, Captain Bennett Marco (Frank Sinatra), Shaw is awarded the Medal of Honor for his supposed actions. In addition, when asked to describe him, Marco and the other soldiers automatically respond, "Raymond Shaw is the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful human being I've ever known in my life."

Deep down, however, they know that Shaw is a cold, sad, unsociable loner. As Marco puts it: "It isn't as if Raymond is hard to like. He's impossible to like!" Marco who has since been promoted to Major suffers from a recurring nightmare in which a hypnotized Shaw kills two fellow soldiers before the assembled military brass of communist nations, during a practical demonstration of a brainwashing technique. Marco wants to investigate, but receives no support from Army Intelligence as he has no proof. However, Marco learns that another soldier from the platoon, Allen Melvin (James Edwards), has had the same nightmare. When Melvin and Marco separately identify some of the men in the dream as leading figures in communist governments, Army Intelligence decides that this is too much of a coincidence and agrees to help Marco investigate.

Shaw's mother, Mrs. Eleanor Iselin (Angela Lansbury), is the driving force behind her husband, Shaw's step-father, Senator John Yerkes Iselin (James Gregory), a bombastic demagogue in the style of Joseph McCarthy, who is dismissed by most people as a fool. Shaw hates them both, especially his domineering mother. Senator Iselin's political stature is established when (per his wife's orders) he interrupts a televised press conference given by the Secretary of Defense, accusing him of knowing that some 207 Defense Department employees are "card carrying" Communists. This provokes the expected chaos and shock among journalists and an enraged reaction from the Secretary.

However, unknown to everyone including Raymond, the Iselins are actually Communist agents with a plan intended to take them all the way to the White House. His mother is actually the American "operative" for whom Raymond is to effect the operation's final step. Raymond was conditioned in Manchuria to be an unwitting assassin whose actions are triggered by a Queen of Diamonds playing card. When he sees it, he will obey the next suggestion or order given to him by anyone. When given instructions to kill selected targets, he must also kill any witnesses and never remember his actions, making him the perfect assassin. It is revealed that Shaw's heroic action was a false memory implanted in the platoon by the communists in Manchuria, and that they were covertly returned to the American lines when their conditioning was completed. The actions for which Shaw was awarded his Medal of Honor never took place.

Raymond briefly finds happiness when he rekindles a youthful romance with Jocelyn Jordan (Leslie Parrish), the daughter of Senator Thomas Jordan (John McGiver), one of his stepfather's political rivals. Raymond had previously courted Jocelyn in order to get at his parents in a Romeo and Juliet-style romance, but they then genuinely fell in love, both she and her father being the nearest thing Raymond has ever had to having friends. Mrs. Iselin broke up the relationship for obvious political reasons, but now facilitates the couple's reunion as part of her scheme to garner the support of Senator Jordan for her husband's own sudden vice presidential bid.

Jocelyn, wearing a Queen of Diamonds costume outfit, inadvertently hypnotizes Raymond at a costume party thrown by the Iselins and the couple elopes. Although pleased with the match, Senator Jordan makes it clear to Mrs. Iselin that he will move for her husband's impeachment if he makes any attempt to seek the vice-presidential nomination. Raymond's conditioning is then triggered by his mother and he is sent to assassinate Jordan. Jocelyn happens upon the scene and is also shot dead as a witness to the event. Raymond has no knowledge of his actions and is genuinely grief-stricken when he learns of the murders.

In the course of Marco's investigation, he discovers the role of the Queen of Diamonds card in putting Raymond into the hypnotic state for his assignments. Marco meets Raymond and, using a deck composed entirely of such cards, gets the full story and orders Raymond to break the links between the card and obeying any further subsequent orders. Unaware of this, Mrs. Iselin primes her son to assassinate their party's presidential candidate at the nomination convention so that Senator Iselin, as the vice-presidential candidate, will become the presidential candidate by default and give an inflammatory anti-Communist speech (written by the Communists themselves). This will cause mass hysteria that will get Iselin, "the Manchurian candidate", elected and justify such emergency powers that, in Mrs. Iselin's words, "will make martial law seem like anarchy".

In a cynically moving scene, Mrs. Iselin asserts that she did not know that it was her son who was to be selected by the Communists, who apparently chose him to be the assassin because they believed it would solidify their own hold and control over her. Furious, she vows that once in power she will "grind them into the dirt". She proceeds to give her "hypnotized" son a decidedly non-maternal kiss.

Marco's attempt to free Raymond appears to have failed. Raymond enters the convention hall disguised as a Catholic priest and takes up a position to carry out the assassination as he was instructed, using a rifle with a scope. Marco and his supervisor, Colonel Milt (Douglas Henderson), arrive at the convention to stop him. As the Presidential nominee (Robert Riordan) makes his speech, Raymond instead takes his revenge by shooting his stepfather and mother dead. He then commits suicide in front of Marco while wearing his Medal of Honor.


 

 The Manchurian Candidate(2004)

Movie Plot: 

When his army unit was ambushed during the first Gulf War, Sergeant Raymond Shaw saved his fellow soldiers just as his commanding officer, then-Captain Ben Marco, was knocked unconscious. Brokering the incident for political capital, Shaw eventually becomes a vice-presidential nominee, while Marco is haunted by dreams of what happened -- or didn't happen -- in Kuwait. As Marco (now a Major) investigates, the story begins to unravel, to the point where he questions if it happened at all. Is it possible the entire unit was kidnapped and brainwashed to believe Shaw is a war hero as part of a plot to seize the White House? Some very powerful people at Manchurian Global corporation appear desperate to stop him from finding out.

Movie Synopsis:

 This is a remake of the 1962 thriller of soldiers, returning from war, who have been brainwashed and programmed to kill. The movie has been updated from the Korean War era to the war in Iraq (Desert Storm). Captain Bennett Marco (Denzel Washington) is now playing Frank Sinatra's part. Time has passed, and now Major Marco is giving speeches about his platoon being ambushed in the Kuwaiti desert. The Lost Platoon was saved by the heroics of Sergeant Raymond Prentiss Shaw (Liev Schreiber), who received the Medal of Honor. Shaw is now a candidate, running for Vice-President of the United States. Marco can't sleep at night, and when he does, he is having nightmares of what really happened in the desert. He thinks Shaw might not be a hero, and that he may have had something to do with the death of two soldiers in the desert. Marco tries to find the truth and people around him begin to die. Douglas Young (the-movie-guy) 

 

WHICH VERSION IS BETTER?

The 1962 film the Manchurian Candidate is a certified classic. The political thriller was so good that it earned the best tribute it could get. A remake. In 2004, Denzel Washington took on the role originally played by Frank Sintra.
There was of course some updating in the remake, some new tweets, and lots of color. But the original black and white, still holds it own. So which one is better and what has been said in comparing the two films?Most film fans who were familiar with the original political thriller tend to side with the 1962 version. But under the direction of Johnathan Demme with a cast that included along side Denzel the likes of Meryl Streep and Liev Schreilber, they do a fabulous job. It’s a strong piece of cinema that comes as a fresher, bright version of the dark and foreboding original.

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