To be in NYC on November 9th was to see an entire city in shock. It was in this atmosphere of anxiety that I darted into Film Forum for this paranoid chiller about a right-wing coup that Frankenheimer offered up as a second act to The Manchurian Candidate. If the ending were as good as act one, it'd be a masterpiece. I don't know how bad the Trump era will be, but if we make it out, it'll inspire some potent cinema.
What a film! This is some fine plotting. the nuts and bolts fit together entirely and there isn't one dull or loose moment. The characters and their motivations make sense all the way trough. There is a terrifying degree of believability in the way the drama unfolds and this film should be watched by everyone concerned with our current political culture. The acting is superb. Ava Gardner in a small part was electric.
John Frankenheimer in his prime. It does not rank with "Manchurian Candidate" but it is still exceptional. He gets solid performances from Fredric March, Ava Gardner, Andrew Duggan and Kirk Douglas. At this point in his career, excepting "The Leopard," Lancaster hadn't reached the level of majestic transparency he later achieved. Here, he plays the heavy heavily.