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Entries in The Manchurian Candidate (6)

Wednesday
Oct242018

Showbiz History: The Manchurian Candidate, Soul Man, and B.D. Wong

8 random things that happened on this day (Oct 24th) in showbiz history

1962 The depressingly prescient classic The Manchurian Candidate involving Russian infiltration into the US government arrives in theaters, receive tswo Oscar nominations: Supporting Actress Angela Lansbury (who won the Globe but lost the Oscar -- argh!) and Film Editing. It deserved to win both races and it's so annoying that it didn't make the Best Picture list.

1969 After a few scattered premieres and openings in big cities, the Paul Newman / Robert Redford western Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid opens everywhere...

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Thursday
Jul262018

Months of Meryl: The Manchurian Candidate (2004)

John and Matthew are watching every single live-action film starring Meryl Streep. 

 

#30 —Eleanor Prentiss Shaw, manipulative mother of a Vice Presidential candidate brainwashed by an international cabal. 

JOHN: The one regrettable casualty of this feature-film series is, of course, Streep’s Emmy winning performance(s) in Mike Nichols’ 2003 HBO adaptation of Tony Kushner’s Angels in America. Perhaps we’ll have time to dig into that series in the future, but suffice it to say we rank her work in it quite highly. In 2004, Streep signed on to her first-ever remake, Jonathan Demme’s The Manchurian Candidate, playing a role made famous by Angela Lansbury in John Frankenheimer’s 1962 film. Demme’s version updates Frankenheimer’s film and Richard Condon’s 1959 source novel to contemporary times, made amid the the Bush/Kerry election and thematically enmeshed in the U.S.’s “War on Terror.” Denzel Washington stars as Ben Marco, a Gulf War veteran whose puzzling memories and twisted dreams of serving in Kuwait drive him to uncover the sinister forces driving fellow soldier and newly-selected, left-leaning Vice Presidential nominee Raymond Shaw (Liev Schreiber) into national prominence. Shaw’s blandly robotic demeanor is operated by his manipulative mother, Virginia Senator Eleanor Prentiss Shaw, heir to an American political dynasty but now working covertly for the ominous international private equity fund Manchurian Global...

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Wednesday
Jul042018

Prime/Hulu in July: Breakfast on Mulholland Dr with a Manchurian

Time to play Streaming Roulette. Each month, to survey new streaming titles, we freeze frame the films at random places with the scroll bar and whatever comes up first, that's what we share -- no cheating!  

Which of these films will you be streaming this month for the first time or as a rewatch? Do tell us in the comments. Ready for our game? Okay let's  go...

Everyone thought he was dotty the way he gorged himself on peanut butter. But he wasn't dotty. Just sweet and vague and terribly slow. Poor Fred. 

Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961) only on Prime
Everyone knows that Audrey Hepburn is wonderful/funny/elegant in this picture... though some think she's miscast. Less often noted but worthy of careful inspection: the smoking hotness of George Peppard as her conflicted gigolo neighbor. [5 Oscar nominations and 2 wins, both for Henry Mancini's music]

[no dialogue]

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Monday
Oct162017

Beauty vs Beast: Political Animals

Jason from MNPP here with this week's "Beauty vs Beast" where we are wishing the grand Dame Angela Lansbury a happy 92nd birthday today! It's difficult to believe we still have an entire year before Rob Marshall's Mary Poppins Returns film comes out (Xmas 2018) but we're still hoping, as we did when she was cast, that Landsbury's got something lovely to work with in the film - we don't get to see her on-screen nearly as often as we'd like to.

But she's such a legend... how could I possibly find someone to compete? Well "somebody" already had the gumption to do it herself - in 2004 a working actress by the name of Meryl Streep tackled Lansbury's still delightfully against-type turn in the remake of The Manchurian Candidate. So let's put these two ladies in a room and see which one walks out...

PREVIOUSLY Did everybody watch Mindhunter over the weekend? I did not so don't say anything if you did. But feel free to share your thoughts on last week's decision on David Fincher's original serial-killer vision Se7en, in which y'all chose Brad Pitt over Kevin Spacey 57 to 42%. That needs explaining! Said Huh:

"Spacey gets a lot of hate nowadays but anyone who thinks Brad’s performance here is better and adds more to the film than Spacey’s is nuts."

Thursday
Apr272017

Familiar Faces: The Jonathan Demme Players

by Nathaniel R

Dearest reader, as you've probably heard by now the director Jonathan Demme has passed away at 73. He died due to esophageal cancer. I had run into him at a screening of La La Land  this past September and I took the opportunity to tell him how much Rachel Getting Married  meant to me (he joked about being first with interracial weddings for Rosemarie deWitt onscreen). Then we talked Swing Shift for a little bit as we had just discussed it on this very site. I was so saddened by this yesterday that I couldn't do much but tweet my farewells. The words wouldn't come out for a lengthy piece but then, surprise, I remembered I'd written the following piece that was never published (oops) to coincide with the release of Ricki and the Flash (2015). I filled in a few of the blank spots and adjusted some verbs to reflect the past tense but this surprisingly doubles as what I probably wanted to say about Jonathan Demme yesterday and couldn't. It's about his favorite actors but looking back, it's a fitting tribute because what American director was more curious about literally any kind of person he might find with his camera?

Jonathan Demme was one of America's most interesting and surprising directors. Though he's now best remembered for the modern classic The Silence of the Lambs (1991) it was actually something of an oddity in his filmography being the only horror film and, in some ways, the most classically controlled. In other ways though it's a traditional Demme picture. It features actors doing unexpected or suddenly signature electric work, weird musician cameos (what the hell is one of the members of 80s synth pop band Book of Love doing in there?), and diverse casting where most films would go with the default heavily male white cast. In fact, Silence might be his most white/male movie but that's part of its plot...

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