The original 1962 film, The Manchurian Candidate, was a U.S. Cold War political thriller and starred Angela Lansbury, Frank Sinatra, Janet Leigh, and Laurence Harvey. The remake of this classic substituted a Korean War veteran with a Gulf War veteran and gave it a modern twist. Directed by Jonathan Demme, it included an all-star cast with Denzel Washington, Meryl Streep, Liev Schreiber, and Jon Voight. Which version do you prefer?
The plots are similar. The acting in both are top rate. The conspiracy, brainwashing, and greedy shenanigans seemed relevant in the Cold War classic as in the modern version.
Frank Sinatra as Ben Marco
“Raymond Shaw is the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful human being I’ve ever known in my life.”
Denzel Washington as Ben Marco
“Somebody got into our heads with big steel-toe boots, cable cutters and a chainsaw and they went to town. Neurons got got exposed and circuits got rewired. Our brain cells got obliterated, Raymond.”
Angela Lansbury, Mrs. Iselin
“Why don’t you pass the time by playing a little solitaire?”
Meryl Streep as Mrs. Eleanor Shaw
“Is this Captain Marco? Captain Bennet Marco? Bennet Ezekiel Marco? Listen.”
Janet Leigh falls for Ben Marco
Vera Farmiga as Shaw’s only love
The Creepy Kiss
My vote? I think Angela Lansbury’s performance was so cold and evil, it bested Meryl Streep. Liev Scheiber was a fantastic Raymond Shaw, and Denzel Washington and Frank Sinatra’s performance was a draw, but what do you think?