Friday, March 18, 2011

Interlude: The Road to Hollywood

The Movie Night Group had the wonderful opportunity to join Robert Osborne and Angela Lansbury for a screening of the 1962 The Manchurian Candidate in New York City.  Like most of the attendees, we had never seen this film on a big screen, and what a knockout.  The story of a Korean war troup that is kidnapped by the enemy, with one member programmed to be a stone-cold killer, it features outstanding performances by Frank Sinatra, Laurence Harvey, Janet Leigh, and Angela Lansbury.  As Ms. Lansbury pointed out in the introduction, none of the actors was afraid to look bad, and all (except Ms. Leigh) have scenes in which the tension and horror of the movie is reflected in their face.  In particular is a scene towards the end of the film in which Ms. Lansbury's face seems distorted, bloated, and truly ugly (if one could believe that!). 

If you have never seen The Manchurian Candidate (big screen or small), it is one that you owe to yourself.  It has a script that will keep you on the edge of your seat til the conclusion. However, if you have seen it before, you will see new things with each new viewing. On our way out of the theatre, we heard a woman mentioning that she had seen the film before, but this time noticed the constant references to Abraham Lincoln (something I don't believe I had picked up on during my many small screen viewings). 

So thanks again to TCM for a remarkable opportunity to see classic movies the way they should be seen.  And thanks too, to Mr. Osborne and Ms. Lansbury for sharing their insight into the film with an eager audience.  For those of you who have never seen this magnificent film, here is the trailer (there is another scene on YouTube, but it gives away too much of the ending.  We'll put that at the bottom. DON'T watch it if you are new to the movie)

More Joan Crawford soon, but we felt our "readers" might like to join us for a few minutes at the special event.

And now, the SPOILER scene:

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