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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

directed by John Frankenheimer
USA 1962

A reluctant director, Frankenheimer has created some of the American cinemas true hidden gems, The Manchurian Candidate being his jewel in the crown. His ability to express his political and philosophic views throughout his films has become renowned. The Manchurian Candidate was hidden for over 20 years after its initial release at Frank Sinatra's enforcement following the assassination of president John F. Kennedy.

 

Raymond Shaw (Laurence Harvey ), returns home from the Korean War and as a hero is presented with the Medal of Valor in Washington. His domineering mother (Angela Lansbury) and Stepfather Senator Iselin (James Gregory) wrestle to grab as much positive political coverage out of his heroics and name as possible. Major Bennett Marco (Frank Sinatra) and others who served alongside him remember Shaw differently, however, in duplicated nightmares as a killer brainwashed by Dr Yen Lo, an evil hypnotist from Communist China (Khigh Dhiegh) with Russian top political brass looking on in an amphitheatre. Shaw's mother, Mrs. Iselin, playing a Joseph McCarthy representation, is revealed to be a calculating Communist Agent and her maneuvering is meant to position her husband to the presidency through assassination, with her son being the mentally manipulated hired gun.

 

NOTE: Sinatra made two films with a plot revolving around a Presidential assassination (the other being Suddenly), but Suddenly became infamous when it was learned Lee Harvey Oswald had watched the film just a few days before he shot President Kennedy. After learning of this, Sinatra had the prints of Suddenly and The Manchurian Candidate removed from circulation.

Gary Tooze's review found here

Posters

Theatrical Release: Oct. 24th, 1962

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Comparison:

MGM (Old FF) - Region 1 - NTSC vs. MGM (Old WS) - Region 1 - NTSC vs. MGM (New WS) - Region 1 - NTSC vs. MGM - Region FREE - Blu-ray

Big thanks to Enrique B Chamorro for all the Screen Caps!

1) MGM (Old FF) - Region 1 - NTSC - LEFT

2) MGM (Old WS) - Region 1 - NTSC - SECOND

3) MGM (New WS) - Region 1 - NTSC - THIRD

4) MGM - Region FREE - Blu-ray - RIGHT

 

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Distribution

MGM

Region 1 - NTSC

MGM
Region 1 - NTSC
MGM
Region 1 - NTSC
MGM
Region FREE -
Blu-ray
Runtime 2:06:20 2:06:20 2:06:16 2:06:32.042
Video

1.33:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 4.13 mb/s
NTSC 704x480 29.97 f/s

1.75:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 4.10 mb/s
NTSC 704x480 29.97 f/s

1.75:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 5.62 mb/s
NTSC 704x480 29.97 f/s

Disc Size: 42,783,545,550 bytes

Feature Size: 40,297,746,432 bytes

Total Bitrate: 35.98 Mbps

Dual-layered Blu-ray MPEG4 - AVC

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

MGM (Old FF)

 

Bitrate:

MGM (Old WS)

 

Bitrate:

MGM (New WS)

 

Bitrate:

MGM Blu-ray

 

Audio English, French, Spanish DD 1.0

English, French, Spanish DD 1.0

English DD 5.1 & 1.0, Spanish DD 1.0

DTS-HD Master Audio English 3020 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3020 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Dolby Digital Audio French 640 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps / DN -4dB
Dolby Digital Audio English 256 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 256 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio Spanish 256 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 256 kbps / DN -2dB
Subtitles English, French, Spanish, none English, French, Spanish, none English, French, Spanish, none English (SDH), French, Spanish, none
Features Release Information:
Studio: MGM

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• VOB file dates: 02/20/98
• Static Menus
• 8 page booklet
• Comm. by dir. Frankenheimer
• 1988 video interview with Frankenheimer, Sinatra, & Axelrod
• Original theatrical trailer

DVD Release Date: 03/24/98
Plastic Keepcase

Chapters 36

Release Information:
Studio: MGM

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen letterboxed - 1.75:1

Edition Details:
• VOB file dates: 02/20/98
• Static Menus
• 8 page booklet
• Comm. by dir. Frankenheimer
• 1988 video interview with Frankenheimer, Sinatra, & Axelrod
• Original theatrical trailer

 

DVD Release Date: 03/24/98
Plastic Keepcase

Chapters 36

Release Information:
Studio: MGM

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.75:1

Edition Details:
• VOB file dates: 04/27/04
• Animated Menus
• 8 page booklet (same text, new layout / photos)
• Same commentary track
• Same 1988 video interview 7:47
• Same original theatrical trailer 1:01
• Queen of Diamonds - Angela Lansbury interview 14:48
• A Little Solitaire - William Friedkin interview 13:15
• Photo Gallery - 57 stills
• MGM Great Movies trailers 1:12
• MGM Academy Awards Winners trailers 1:16
• Easter Egg - William Friedkin clip 0:25
• Easter Egg Angela Landsbury clip 1:06

 

DVD Release Date: 07/13/04
Plastic Keepcase

Chapters 36

Release Information:
Studio: MGM

 

Disc Size: 42,783,545,550 bytes

Feature Size: 40,297,746,432 bytes

Total Bitrate: 35.98 Mbps

Dual-layered Blu-ray MPEG4 - AVC

 

Edition Details:
• Commentary track
• Same 1988 video interview 7:47
• Same original theatrical trailer 1:01
• Queen of Diamonds - Angela Lansbury interview 14:48
• A Little Solitaire - William Friedkin interview 13:15

 

Blu-ray Release Date: May 10th, 2011
Standard Blu-ray case

Chapters 36

 

 

Comments

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were ripped directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ADDITION: MGM Blu-ray May 11': Another dual-layered Blu-ray that is offered at a significant savings in Canada (?). The Manchurian Candidate has always looked a little murky but this is a significant improvement over the DVDs at almost 7 times the bitrate. It betters the best SD in every area - with some notable detail and another notch up in contrast (a shade brighter). In-motion this is almost a revelation and hopefully the screen captures will indicate as much to you.

Audio stays with the bump in a DTS-HD Master 5.1 at an abundantly strong 3020 kbps 5.1. There isn't a lot of aggressive audio in the Manchurian Candidate but the track extracts whatever there is and separation is a bit fumble-ly but when you hear a crisp effect out of the rears it tends to make up for it. There is a surprising crispness over the DVDs.

The same subtitle options and extras exist - commentary, Sinatra/Lansbury/Friedkin etc. interviews. Great film to have in the superior format. This classic looks and sounds solid in 1080P and it gave me my best home theater presentation I've yet seen for the original The Manchurian Candidate. At this give-away price - we absolutely recommend!

***

ON THE DVDs: The new SE DVD is sharper, brighter and has superior contrast. It's interesting to see what you were missing from the 'Full-frame' side of the initial DVD (zoomed in). Where the old edition showed some film grain (excessive), the new one SE can seem somewhat flattened. Certainly there are better black and white transfers out there. I suspect the old version as having some contrast boosting as the brightness can appear quite uneven throughout a viewing. It is also very dull with a brown/sepia sheen over the image. The new SE has both the original audio and a boosted 5.1 track that can make the world of difference in certain scenes (for non-purists), but mostly the film is dialogue driven. The director commentary is the same as in the initial DVD offering, so is a 'reunion' interview with screenwriter George Axelrod, director John Frankenheimer and Frank Sinatra for the initial 1988 release (Sinatra purchased the rights and kept the film theatrically buried for over 25 years). Two new featurettes include an interview with Angela Lansbury and another with director William Friedkin (director of 'The Exorcist'). There is also a trailer (same as old), a photo gallery and a couple of 'easter eggs'. Not too hard a choice at all - new SE for sure.

 - Gary Tooze

 


Recommended Reading in Film Noir (CLICK COVERS or TITLES for more information)

DVD Menus

(MGM (Old FF) - Region 1 - NTSC - LEFT vs. MGM (Old WS) - Region 1 - NTSC - MIDDLE vs. MGM (New WS) - Region 1 - NTSC - RIGHT)
 

 

MGM - Region FREE - Blu-ray

 


 

CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

Subtitle Samples

 

1) MGM (Old FF) - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) MGM (Old WS) - Region 1 - NTSC - SECOND

3) MGM (New WS) - Region 1 - NTSC - THIRD

4) MGM - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 


Screen Captures

1) MGM (Old FF) - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) MGM (Old WS) - Region 1 - NTSC - SECOND

3) MGM (New WS) - Region 1 - NTSC - THIRD

4) MGM - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


 

1) MGM (Old FF) - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) MGM (Old WS) - Region 1 - NTSC - SECOND

3) MGM (New WS) - Region 1 - NTSC - THIRD

4) MGM - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) MGM (Old FF) - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) MGM (Old WS) - Region 1 - NTSC - SECOND

3) MGM (New WS) - Region 1 - NTSC - THIRD

4) MGM - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) MGM (Old FF) - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) MGM (Old WS) - Region 1 - NTSC - SECOND

3) MGM (New WS) - Region 1 - NTSC - THIRD

4) MGM - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) MGM (Old FF) - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) MGM (Old WS) - Region 1 - NTSC - SECOND

3) MGM (New WS) - Region 1 - NTSC - THIRD

4) MGM - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) MGM (Old FF) - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) MGM (Old WS) - Region 1 - NTSC - SECOND

3) MGM (New WS) - Region 1 - NTSC - THIRD

4) MGM - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 

More MGM - Region FREE - Blu-ray Captures

 


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Report Card:

 

Image:

Blu-ray

Sound:

Blu-ray

Extras: New SE / Blu-ray

 

DVD Box Covers

  

  

  

  

  

  

Significantly cheaper at Amazon Canada:

Distribution

MGM

Region 1 - NTSC

MGM
Region 1 - NTSC
MGM
Region FREE -
Blu-ray
 



 

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Gary Tooze

Many Thanks...