Headshot of La Cieca

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Powers that will make martial law seem like anarchy

That’s the kind of casting abilities you’ve got, cher public, two of you in particular, who are the winners of the Manchurian Candidate competition.

The most plausible of suggestions was also the most detailed, with plenty of options for artists who are unavailable or suffering from dehydration or whatever. That’s Baritenor‘s treatise, which even included casting suggestions for roles not mentioned in the original challenge. That extra mile makes all the difference!

And for its combination of impossible-dream opera queenery and sheer lunacy, nobody could beat Lucy Brown with her suggestion of a Lauren Flanigan/Jonas Kaufmann/Michael Fabiano triumvirate. Though, to be honest, La Cieca would go to anything if it featured a skincapped Cecilia Bartoli doing karate.

Congratulations to both our winners, and don’t trust anyone who looks like Angela Lansbury.

30 comments

  • phoenix says:

    I still don’t know what ‘The Manchurian Candidate’ is (for sure) -- it appears to have been one of those (1960′s-70′s) twinky spy movies of some sort -- suspense was never a turn-on for phoenix like ritual was -- so I have decided that it’s not worth the little time I have left to look it up. I liked the beautiful brown eyed Janet Leigh -- she was in one of my favorite movies: ‘The Vikings’. The only time I liked Frank Sinatra was when he hosted a SFO Fol-de-Rol & he sang a duet with Pilar Lorengar that I’ll never forget. The ugly Laurence Harvey? That was a mean piece of work, wasn’t it?

    http://tinyurl.com/clhjx7y

    - It’s interesting how different [everyone] [some people's] tastes are, their favorite films are and why they consider them to be mainstream historical works. I would like to know exactly why Cieza has chosen this film -- in the sense of what Cieza found compelling in it. After all, this is tierra extranjera for me.

    • armerjacquino says:

      It would be your loss, phoenix. TMC is one of those films that transcends genre. You don’t need to be a ‘spy film’ or ‘thriller fan’ to appreciate its qualities.

      • phoenix says:

        Which version?

        • rapt says:

          I haven’t seen the re-make, but it’s hard for me to imagine an improvement on the first version’s black, black comedy. It seems to me like an unrepeatable, maybe fortuitous (though I suspect not) mix of operatic gestures, sly wit, and a kind of Cold War self-seriousness in some of the performances (Sinatra, Harvey) that the director must have encouraged in order to heighten the effect of the surreal, pomposity-puncturing moments (Harvey, in his hypnotic state [indistinguishable from his usual constipated expression], hearing “go jump in a lake” and dutifully seeking out the nearest body of water; the wicked Chinese party officials in garden-club drag; and more!). Lansbury out-Callases Callas!

          • phoenix says:

            Your description is enough entertainment in itself.

          • rapt says:

            Glad you enjoyed it, phoenix! Since writing it, though, I’ve been troubled by a vague sense that I may have plagiarized that constipation metaphor for Harvey from Pauline Kael. No telling who else I may have robbed!

          • J. G. Pastorkyna says:

            There are exactly 57 card-carrying members of the Communist Party in the Department of Defense at this time!

          • bobsnsane says:

            Joe mama!

        • stevey says:

          Greetings, O Phoenix (and everyone!! :-)

          PLEASE don’t go for the newer, ‘Streep’ Manchurian WITHOUT haven’t first seen the original.

          I have seen both (it’s in my ‘Top 5′ (along with, for whoever may be curious, ‘Network’, ‘Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?’, ‘The Cook, The Thief, His Wife & Her Lover’, and ‘They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?), and there really is absolutely NO comparison.

          Give it a watch, Phoenix! I don’t think you’ll be sorry if you did… :-)
          (and I second all the superlatives about Angela Lansbury as Mrs. Iselin, one of the most iconic villains in all of American film. I saw this movie right when both ‘Murder, She Wrote’ was at it’s peak AND Disney’s ‘Beauty and The Beast’ came out (so, like 13 years old at the time… what kind of queen am I???) and was never able to look at Mrs. Potts or Jessica Fletcher the same after that!!!)

          Best regards to all.

          • kashania says:

            Streep does a very fine take on the character and doesn’t do Stanbury’s cold-as-ice interpretation (which is fabulous). But overall as a film, the original is much more interesting.

          • stevey says:

            I recall reading a review, when the remake first came out saying that, as opposed to Lansbury’s more ‘devious’ (and ‘bigger’, if you will) portrayal, that Steep’s portrays Mrs. Iselin “like Hillary Clinton on crack”.

            To which I remember thinking “Oooo… Good one!”

    • Clita del Toro says:

      We can now cast ‘Funny Face-The Opera,” as it was mentioned recently:

      Jo Stockton (Audrey): Renee Fleming
      Dick Avery (Astaire) : Johann Botha
      Maggie Prescott: (Thompson): Dolora Zajick
      Prof. Flostre: Elena Garanca (pants role)
      Marion (Dovima) : Stephanie Blythe

      Bonjour, Paris!

  • Ilka Saro says:

    One of the many pleasures of Manchurian Candidate (the Lansbury/Harvey version) are the location shots of NYC.

  • bluecabochon says:

    • bluecabochon says:

      Why can’t I do this? I added a V and it won’t post?

      • phoenix says:

        He is spying on you! The Manchurian Candidate won’t let you post!

      • Batty Masetto says:

        Blue, you need to add the “v” to the full-length YT address that appears in the address bar at the top of your browser, not the “youtu.be” address. (In other words, the address you get from the “share” button is useless for this.) I decrypted a little and went to the source, so if you were to add the “v” to this version of the address, where I intentionally left it out…

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y5Y0LT5NuB8

        … you should get an embed.

        • bluecabochon says:

          Thanks so much for the explanation, Batty. Hard to believe that Angela was only 3 years older than Laurence!

          • Camille says:

            And Angela was ROBBED of her Oscar for this part. I wonder if the Academy will do right by her and award her one of those Lifetime Achievement awards? Shame on them!

            What is also interesting is how she managed to maintain pretty much the same look for thirty years or so. Sorry to have missed her this past spring in that Vidal thing. I blinked, and she was gone.

            Bluecab—did you get Edith Head’s Dress for Success yet? You must!

          • bluecabochon says:

            Not yet, Camille, but it’s on my wish list. I haves my costume books…too many already!

          • bluecabochon says:

            Too many… Darned autocorrect!

      • phoenix says:

        ‘I don’t think I really understand it all. I don’t think anybody does. That’s what makes it so intruiging.’
        - A. Lansbury’s final statement on the clip.

        • tannengrin says:

          What I don’t understand is that for the 1988 re-release ad that LaCieca used for this post, La Lansbury was not considered enough of an attraction to get her name printed in bold.

  • lucy brown says:

    Ooooooooohhhhh!!! Thank you, fair doyenne!!! You’ve made my day!!!

    • Camille says:

      You won it fair and square, lucy b.
      I aigm so proud of you as you did it the old fashioned way—and not by backroom bribes, dirty deals, or by schtupping the boss!

      Lauren F. Was the obvious choice but only you thought of her. Brava!

  • Baritenor says:

    Yes!!!!! So happy right now!