Always with a little humour

John Frankenheimer’s The Manchurian Candidate is straight rock and roll. Mind you, this is the 1962 version (still have to catch up with the recent remake with Denzel).

Frankenheimer is somewhat of an acclaimed innovative director but I’ve never been too impressed with his work until I saw The Manchurian Candidate. This is by far the best work he’s ever done. The screenplay is mighty interesting with brainwashing communists and a presidential race. It may be somewhat unbelievable at times but this is the movies after all. It doesn’t really bother, also because there’s a good portion of humour and the commies are like aliens from outer space which is pure genius.

And then there’s the cinematography which is truly special and innovative. Especially the famous slightly out of focus shots:

Take this one. Just three people in a car, which is so simple, I would advise the writer to find something sexy but instead it’s Frankenheimer who comes up with the sexyness. Look at how wonderful he positioned the characters and how just through style he tells us what every persona is like. The confused sarg, the bitchy mother, the puppet senator.

Superb and he pushes it all the way through. More blurry goodies:

But there’s straight up fun with guns as well (the first image is actually reminiscent of the Hitchcock shot isn’t it?) and more out of focus touches:

Anyway I could post much more but the real message here is, see it as fast as you can!


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