Eerie, shocking, daring, thrilling and mesmerizing, The Manchurian Candidate will leave youbreathless (People)! Featuring an all-star cast, including Angela Lansbury in an OscarÂ(r)-nominated performance, this chilling and controversial (Leonard Maltin) film may be the most sophisticated political satire ever made (Pauline Kael). When a platoon of Korean War G.I.s iscaptured, they somehow end up at a ladies garden club party. Or do they? Major Bennett Marco (Frank Sinatra) can’t remember. As he searches for the answer, he discovers threads of a diabolical plot orchestrated by the utterly ruthless Mrs. Iselin (Lansbury) and involving her war hero son (LaurenceHarvey), her senator husband (James Gregory) and a secret cabal of enemy leaders.
In preparation for the 2004 remake, the special edition of this 1962 thriller delivers a few extra features, but the best reason to grab this edition is a new 5.1 Dolby sound mix and anamorphic widescreen transfer. Director John Frankenheimer’s excellent commentary and a short 1988 reunion with the three main talents are retained from the first release. New extras includes a photo gallery and 15 minutes of reminiscences from actress Angela Lansbury. The other short is hosted by Frankenheimer disciple William Friedkin, who dishes on some facts, but a few of his speculations are contradicted by Frankenheimer’s commentary. –Doug Thomas