The Manchurian Candidate | Varsity Theatre | Special Events | Indy Week
This is a past event.

The Manchurian Candidate 

When: Fri., April 22, 9 p.m. 2011
Price: Free

"Raymond Shaw is the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful human being I've ever known in my life." Strange, thrilling and at times hilarious, there's never quite been a thriller like 1962's The Manchurian Candidate ... not even the 2004 remake. The film was hugely controversial at the time; rumors have long circulated that star/producer Frank Sinatra had it withdrawn from circulation for years because of its subsequent echoes of the Kennedy assassination. The unfortunate Raymond (Laurence Harvey) is a loner who arrives home in the U.S. a hero after being captured by the Koreans ... though his fellow soldier Marco (Sinatra) can't help but feel something's up. The witty screenplay by George Axelrod contains dozens of quotable lines ("His brain has not only been washed, as they say ... it has been dry cleaned"), and John Frankenheimer's direction creates a wonderfully tense yet surreal tone, including a hallucinated flashback involving mad scientists and multiple garden parties and one of the most nail-biting climaxes in cinema. (Still no idea what the deal is with Janet Leigh as Sinatra's love interest, though.) Oh, and then there's Angela Lansbury as Raymond's mother: You will never, ever be able to look at a rerun of Murder, She Wrote the same way again. Weirdly, though this film is clearly a product of the Cold War, it still feels more current than its 44-years-later remake, and infinitely more powerful than what passes for thrillers today. See it again or for the first time at a free screening that starts at 9 p.m. with a special introduction by Florence Dore. The showing is part of the UniVarsity Film series and is sponsored by UNC's Department of English and Comparative Literature, the Institute for the Arts and Humanities and CLOUD. —Zack Smith

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