• Post category:Movies
  • Post last modified:September 26, 2018

The Manchurian Candidate


manchuriancandidateWe had a right to expect something good when a director of Jonathan Demme’s caliber decided to remake John Frankenheimer’s great political thriller from 1962. The war in Korea has been cleverly updated to the Gulf War, but the main story of the original is intact and still relevant today, as a veteran (Denzel Washington) discovers that he keeps having the same weird dreams as other members of his unit. The political backdrop is very interesting and so are the similarities with contemporary events. Liev Schreiber delivers a strong performance as the war hero turned politician and Meryl Streep is wonderful as the senator who may look like Hillary Clinton but acts like a fascist.

2004-U.S. 130 min. Color. Produced by Scott Rudin, Tina Sinatra, Ilona Herzberg. Directed by Jonathan Demme. Screenplay: Daniel Pyne, Dean Georgaris. Cast: Denzel Washington (Ben Marco), Meryl Streep (Eleanor Shaw), Liev Schreiber (Raymond Shaw), Jon Voight, Kimberly Elise, Jeffrey Wright… Bruno Ganz, Dean Stockwell, Vera Farmiga, Roger Corman, Anthony Mackie. Cameos: Al Franken, Sidney Lumet.

Trivia: Jessica Lange, Glenn Close and Emma Thompson were allegedly considered for the part of Eleanor Shaw.

Last word: “We, obviously, showed at script level and, hopefully at every level, tremendous respect for the earlier picture. That was just organic to all of us involved in the process, certainly Dan Pyne and myself. But we were determined to not try to repeat any of the specific strengths of the original movie. So some of the definitive, great set-pieces of the first film, we don’t have in our film.¬†Dan Pyne replaced the notion that Communism was the great global threat with the notion that perhaps multinational corporations that profit from war pose the greatest threat of all to mankind today.” (Demme, ABC)

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