The Manchurian Candidate [DVD] 
- SKU: 3316575
- Release Date: 03/25/1998
A brilliant movie that successfully straddles the lines between suspense, black comedy, politics, romance, and social commentary, The Manchurian Candidate gets a fine DVD release. The widescreen transfer shows off Lionel Lindon's striking black-and-white cinematography and the Dolby soundtrack is equal to the one used in the film's 1987 theatrical re-release. This DVD edition makes plain that even without parallels with real political assassinations and fabricated scandals, The Manchurian Candidate would succeed as a movie. Frankenheimer's no-nonsense DVD audio commentary states that the film was a balancing act between plot and character and he gives ample credit to the superb cast. The commentary is full of silent stretches, but it's refreshing to have a director speak only when he's got something to say. Frankenheimer points out the contributions made by Lindon and production designer Richard Sylbert, and contrasts Axelrod's changes to Richard Condon's book. Besides knowing when to stick with the book and when to add his own touches, Axelrod slightly reworked Condon's ending and made it infinitely more powerful. Also included on the DVD is a short 1987 interview with Frankenheimer, Axelrod, and Frank Sinatra in which the humbled singer shows off his disfigured hand that was broken during the movie's kung-fu sequence.