25 years after the making of The Manchurian Candidate. Star Frank Sinatra, Director John Frankenheimer and writer George Axelrod sat down for this amazing round robin conversation about the great film they made together. This is an addition to the VHS tape of The Manchurian Candidate if you are lucky to find it. Frank Sinatra ordered two of his films Suddenly and The Manchurian Candidate withdrawn from circulation for years because he heard the Lee Harvey Oswald had watched them before he assassinated President Kennedy. Except for an occasional tv viewing, TMC sat on the shelf gathering dust. I was so happy when they re-released it in 1988 so that future generations could appreciate its greatness. It is a biting political satire and a first class thriller rolled into one based on Richard Condon's excellent book. George Axelrod wrote a cracking good screenplay and what I like about it is the fact that he stayed close to Condon's book. He knew greatness when he read it. Frankenheimer pointed out during the discussion that one of the things in 1962 was that they could not show the graphic violence on screen like they do today and that made it a better movie and I agree with him. Its like the scene when Raymond shoots Senator Jordan while he's holding that milk carton and milk pours out like blood, or that amazing dream sequence that Frank Sinatra has where the old ladies at the garden club turn into Russian agents. It is masterful how he did it and Sinatra praises him for it in the interview. Sinatra tells a funny story about how he hurt his finger during the intense karate fight scene with Henry Silva (which is excellently done). These three men are all dead now, but this is a fascinating conversation to watch. By the way, I read the other day that the Hollywood mogul whores are going to try to remake this classic film with Denzel Washington as the star and Meryl Streep in Angela Lansbury's old role! Why don't they just try to rewrite "to be or not to be" while they are at it. What in the hell is wrong with these people that they feel they have to keep desecrating the classics just to make a few bucks.
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