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The Manchurian Candidate (2004)

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2:31 | Trailer
In the midst of the Gulf War, soldiers are kidnapped and brainwashed for sinister purposes.

Director:

Jonathan Demme

Writers:

Richard Condon (novel), George Axelrod | 2 more credits »
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Popularity
3,847 ( 318)
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 1 win & 11 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jeffrey Wright ... Al Melvin
Pablo Schreiber ... Eddie Ingram
Anthony Mackie ... Robert Baker
Dorian Missick ... Owens
Jose Pablo Cantillo ... Villalobos
Teddy Dunn ... Wilson
Joaquin Perez-Campbell Joaquin Perez-Campbell ... Atkins
Tim Artz Tim Artz ... Jameson
Denzel Washington ... Ben Marco
Robyn Hitchcock Robyn Hitchcock ... Laurent Tokar
Liev Schreiber ... Raymond Shaw
Antoine Taylor Antoine Taylor ... Boy Scout #1
Joe Alessi Joe Alessi ... Boy Scout #2 (as Joseph Alessi)
Raymond Anthony Thomas ... Scout Dad (as Ray Anthony Thomas)
Bill Irwin ... Scoutmaster
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Storyline

When his army unit was ambushed during the first Gulf War, Sergeant Raymond Shaw saved his fellow soldiers just as his commanding officer, then-Captain Ben Marco, was knocked unconscious. Brokering the incident for political capital, Shaw eventually becomes a vice-presidential nominee, while Marco is haunted by dreams of what happened -- or didn't happen -- in Kuwait. As Marco (now a Major) investigates, the story begins to unravel, to the point where he questions if it happened at all. Is it possible the entire unit was kidnapped and brainwashed to believe Shaw is a war hero as part of a plot to seize the White House? Some very powerful people at Manchurian Global corporation appear desperate to stop him from finding out. Written by A Prentiss

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

....is anyone seeing the truth? See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence and some language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Paramont [United States]

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

30 July 2004 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El candidato de Manchuria See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$80,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$20,018,620, 1 August 2004

Gross USA:

$65,955,630

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$96,105,910
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In The Manchurian Candidate (1962), the brainwashing agents were Chinese Communists from the Manchurian provinces next to North Korea. See more »

Goofs

In the opening Gulf War scene when SFC Shaw is telling the men inside the transport that they will be moving out soon, one of the men presses the stop button on a stereo CD player to stop the music playing. The music stops, but it can be clearly seen that the CD was never spinning in the first place. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Ben Marco: So why don't we just go directly right up in this route, straight in...
Laurent Tokar: Yes, I see the Captain enjoys the road less-traveled.
Ben Marco: No, the Captain enjoys not going down the highway, draggin' his ass so every Tom, Dick, Gaddafi can take a whack at it.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Film Noir: Bringing Darkness to Light (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

Bambalance
by Alley Deheza, Claudia Deheza & Phillip Porter Wann
Performed by On! Air! Library! (as On!Air!Library!)
Courtesy of The Arena Rock Recording Company
See more »

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User Reviews

Limp and lackluster
22 November 2004 | by rogerdarlingtonSee all my reviews

The 1962 version of "The Manchurian Candidate" - starring Frank Sinatra and Lawrence Harvey - caught the conspiratorial mood of the time when so many Americans saw a commie round every corner. The current 'war of terror' might have seemed like an apposite time to attempt a remake. I've been a fan of Denzel Washington since he played Steve Biko in "Cry, Freedom" and I regard Meryl Street as the finest actress of her generation, so the chance to see the two starring together for the first time was an attractive one. Since I'm a political animal, the vehicle of a political thriller appeared to add to the attraction. But Jonathan Demme's remake of John Frankenheimer's classic, although it has a certain style, is overall a real disappointment. Frankly it is lackluster when it is not simply silly.

Streep gives a bravado performance as the manipulative mother of the Vice-Presidential candidate who is under external control and Washington is always watchable, but Liev Schreiber as the brain-drilled war hero and politician is robotic even when he is not 'activated'. The 'up-dating' of the story to make corporations rather than Communists the enemy is a well-worn theme, ranging from the Peter Sellers' movie "Being There" to the more recent television series "24". What this new version of Richard Condon's 1959 novel tells us is that Americans are no less fearful and paranoid than they were in the Cold War and Hollywood is no better at remakes than it ever was.


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