Blu-ray, DVD Release: The Manchurian Candidate (1962)

Blu-ray & DVD Release Date: March 15, 2015
Price: DVD $29.95, Blu-ray $39.95
Studio: Criterion


The name John Frankenheimer’s (Grand Prix) 1962 film The Manchurian Candidate is generally considered to be the quintessential Sixties political thriller—and more than a half-century later,it’s lost none of its power.

Angela Lansbury is the ruthless Queen of Diamonds in The Manchurian Candidate.

Angela Lansbury is the ruthless Queen of Diamonds in The Manchurian Candidate.

Set in the early fifties, this razor-sharp adaptation of the novel by Richard Condon concerns the decorated U.S. Army sergeant Raymond Shaw (Laurence Harvey, Summer and Smoke), who as a prisoner during the Korean War is brainwashed into being a sleeper assassin in a Communist conspiracy, and a fellow POW (Frank Sinatra, Kings Go Forth) who slowly uncovers the sinister plot. In an unforgettable, Oscar-nominated performance, Angela Lansbury (Harlow) plays Raymond’s villainous mother, the controlling wife of a witch-hunting anti-Communist senator with his eyes on the White House.

The rare film to be suffused with Cold War paranoia while also taking aim at the frenzy of the McCarthy era, The Manchurian Candidate remains potent, shocking and classic American moviemaking.

Criterion’s DVD and Blu-ray editions of the movie contain the following:

  • New, restored 4K digital transfer, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
    • Audio commentary from 1997 featuring director John Frankenheimer
    • New interview with actor Angela Lansbury
    • New piece featuring filmmaker Errol Morris discussing his appreciation for The Manchurian Candidate
    • Conversation between Frankenheimer, screenwriter George Axelrod, and actor Frank Sinatra from 1988
    • New interview with historian Susan Carruthers about the Cold War brainwashing scare
    • Trailer
Buy or Rent The Manchurian Candidate (1962)
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About Laurence

Founder and editor Laurence Lerman saw Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest when he was 13 years old and that’s all it took. He has been writing about film and video for more than a quarter of a century for magazines, anthologies, websites and most recently, Video Business magazine, where he served as the Reviews Editor for 15 years.