Manchurian Candidate the next Fahrenheit 9/11?

Apparently the remake of the 60s thriller is even more partisan than Moore’s propaganda screed.

According to Drudge, this is what Frank Rich will say in his upcoming review of Manchurian Candidate in the NY Times.

“Freed from any obligations to fact, MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE can play far dirtier than FAHRENHEIT 911,” writes Rich in a column set for release this Sunday, newsroom sources tell DRUDGE.

“This movie could pass for the de facto fifth day of the [Democrat] convention itself.”

“The American people are terrified,” says Streep’s villainous senator early on as, John Ashcroft-style, she wields a national security report promising “another cataclysm, probably nuclear.” And so we watch her and the rest of the Manchurian Global cabal exploit that fear in any way possible, using the mass media as a brainwashing tool, manipulating patriotic iconography for political ends. “Compassionate vigilance” is one campaign slogan. A televised election night rally features a Mount Rushmore backdrop (as in a signature Bush photo op) and a chorus line of heroic cops and firemen (reminiscent of the early Bush-Cheney ads exploiting the carnage at ground zero).

If Drudge got hold of the real copy (which I’m sure he did), it sounds like Bush is up for a double-whammy in America’s movie theaters this summer. And unlike F 9/11, Manchurian Candidate won’t be cursed with the “D” word (“documentary”). As a suspense thriller, it will appeal to the mainstream, and with stars like Meryl Streep and Denzel Washington it’s bound to be a big draw. Very big. And publicity like Rich’s will bring in the political types (like me).

I think it’s wonderful. It sounds like it’s depicting on screen exactly what Bush does every day, with his orchestrated photo opps and cynical “compassionate conservatism.” And it’s perfectly fair for the GOP to turn around and do the same thing. Let them put out a movie showing a hapless Democratic security bigwig stuffing classified documents into his pants if they think it will sell.

(Unfortunately, it would never work. Republicans are simply too square to create a hip, thrilling movie. I’d love to see them try it.)

Update: Great piece on the movie and Drudge over at the most creative blog I know.

The Discussion: 4 Comments

It will never live up to the original Machurian Candidate, though.

Frank Sinatra in a karate scene! How can you not love that?!

July 23, 2004 @ 10:19 am | Comment

The original is one of my very favorite movies, a great movie and a wicked parody of obsessive anti-Communists.

July 23, 2004 @ 10:31 am | Comment

This is the first time I have heard the Streep-as-Ashcroft comparison; everywhere else seem to think her character looks an awfully lot like Hillary Clinton.

July 23, 2004 @ 10:41 am | Comment

Whem I watched Fahrenheit 9/11 with my mother they played this trailer.

Interestingly, she hated the Moore flick and yelled about it for an hour. But she kept gushing about how good that Denzell Washington movie is going to be.

“I’m gonna see that Candidate film.”

Go figure.

July 24, 2004 @ 3:10 pm | Comment

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