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The Manchurian Candidate (2004)

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In the midst of the Gulf War, soldiers are kidnapped and brainwashed for sinister purposes.

Director:

Jonathan Demme

Writers:

Richard Condon (novel), George Axelrod | 2 more credits »
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4,044 ( 693)
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 1 win & 11 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jeffrey Wright ... Al Melvin
Pablo Schreiber ... Eddie Ingram
Anthony Mackie ... Robert Baker
Dorian Missick ... Owens
Jose Pablo Cantillo ... Villalobos
Teddy Dunn ... Wilson
Joaquin Perez-Campbell Joaquin Perez-Campbell ... Atkins
Tim Artz Tim Artz ... Jameson
Denzel Washington ... Ben Marco
Robyn Hitchcock Robyn Hitchcock ... Laurent Tokar
Liev Schreiber ... Raymond Shaw
Antoine Taylor Antoine Taylor ... Boy Scout #1
Joe Alessi Joe Alessi ... Boy Scout #2 (as Joseph Alessi)
Raymond Anthony Thomas ... Scout Dad (as Ray Anthony Thomas)
Bill Irwin ... Scoutmaster
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Storyline

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. Written by A Prentiss

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Everything is under control. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence and some language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Paramont [United States]

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

30 July 2004 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Der Manchurian Kandidat See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$80,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$20,018,620, 1 August 2004, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$65,955,630

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$96,105,964
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In developing his character, Liev Schreiber watched footage of Robert F. Kennedy. See more »

Goofs

The place where they drill Raymond Shaw's skull is far removed from where the MRI tracking shows they are implanting a new probe. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Ben Marco: So why don't we just go directly right up in this route, straight in...
Laurent Tokar: Yes, I see the Captain enjoys the road less-traveled.
Ben Marco: No, the Captain enjoys not going down the highway, draggin' his ass so every Tom, Dick, Gaddafi can take a whack at it.
See more »

Connections

Featured in The Tonight Show with Jay Leno: Episode #19.24 (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

The Leaves Are Gone
by Josh Garza, Benjamin Curtis & Brandon Curtis
Performed by Secret Machines (as The Secret Machines)
Courtesy of Reprise Records
by arrangement with Warner Strategic Marketing
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Solid, Topical and Worthy of the Original
1 August 2004 | by sinuousSee all my reviews

Manchurian Candidate is far closer to the original than you've probably heard, and even though it's not the exact movie, it hardly could have been.

That the original is truly relevant would count little for modern audiences, who seem to have a hard time drawing parallels from anything out of their memory. One glimpse of black and white, and funky old clothes, and most teenyboppers under the age of thirty are out the door. Since they would only sit through a first run update, it's truly fine that they have one. The wonder is, the update stands up to the original.

It even solves some of the problems of the first. Gone are the vaguely foreign looking actors standing in for Russians and Chinese agents. Gone are the poorly choreographed ju-jitsu moves.

And the new film retains the strengths of the original. Every performance is fine. Liev Schrieber is worthy of Laurence Harvey's original gut kicking performance (though it's Harvey by an edge). Washington's craft is more than a match for Sinatra's unevenly inspired work. (One of the wonders of the first is realizing that Sinatra -could- act, that he did things with rhythm and cadence because those were his only tools, and it worked. He was no method actor, but damn.) Streep's scenery chewing is frankly, perfect, because unfortunately, really disgusting people actually do exist, and the real ones are impervious to the critique that their behavior is over-the-top. Seen or heard any Fox commentators recently? Streep's Senator may be over-the-top, but the only thing that distinguishes her from the real thing is - surprise - she's only acting.

Make no mistake, both these films are paranoid thrillers, and the overly literal would say of either, "preposterous". But then, the overly literal don't usually get much out of anything that isn't underlined in Business Week with a magic marker. So if you fit in that category, go rent something less threatening.

On the other hand, if you are the nervous type...

The film's style is less dialog laden, it runs more on mood. But it really does kick in all the same places, the same incredible cynicism offset by the thinnest sliver of a wild, earnest Patriotism.


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