The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, June 30, 1988, Summer, Page 10, Image 10

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    Sheldon shows classic ‘Manchurian Candidate’
By Geoff McMurtry
Senior Editor
‘The Manchurian Candidate,”
John Prankenhcimer’s classic
international-intrigue thriller,
shows today through Sunday and
July 7-10 at the Sheldon Theater.
Originally released in 1962, the
film was taken out of circulation
until last year by Frank Sinatra,
who starred in the film.
But the film is availablenow,
and holds up remarkably welt as a
As with any good thriller, the
plot is complex and confusing at
firsthand riveting at theend, Frank
enbeimer pulls you slowly into the
story with visual nor -sequitors
trad audio that doesn't seem to
natch up with what is onscreen.
Gradually everything starts com
ing together, twisting intoabizarre
plot of deception, treachery,
power and innocence.
The plot revolves around Ray
mond Shaw (Laurence Harvey), a
war hero just returning home from
Korea, and the stepson of Senator
Johnny Iselin (James Gregory), a
McCarthy ist fascist demagogue.
Shaw was awarded the Medal of
Honor for his courageous action in
singlchandedly saving the lives of
his platoon.
Angela Lansbury was nomi
nated for Best Supporting Actress
For her performance as Shaw’s
mother and Iselin’s wife. She is
cold, ruthless, diabolical, calcu
lating and the one who pulls the
strings behind muddled fool
Iselin’s barking outburst of a ca
reer. She has big plans, and no
body , not even her son or i ricompe
tent husband, will get in her way.
When her son falLs in love with a
neighbor girl, and is happy for the
first time in his life, she breaks up
the pair because the girl is the
daughter of a rival Senator (“a
liberal Communist”).
Sinatra, who was a much more
convincing actor than singer,
gives an outstanding performance
as Major Marco, an Army col
league of Shaw’s who starts hav
ing a strange recurring dream
about what really happened on that
mission where Shaw won his
medal. Did it really happen? Is it
all an elaborate hoax? Is it possible
that his whole platoon was brain
washed by the Communists?
When Marco takes his dream to
his commanding officers, they tell
him he needs a rest.. When another
man in the platoon has the same
dream and independently identi
fies the same two upper-level
Russian and Chinese leaders as
Marco does, they decide to take
him seriously.
It now becomes Marco’s job to
find out what is going on, who is
behind it, what w ill happen, when
it will happen and why. A break
through comes accidentally when
Marco meets with Shaw, who is
unaware of all this, in a bar. The
bartender randomly asks if he
wants to play solitaire. That trig
ger Shaw’s hypnotic state. When
the Queen of Diamonds turns up,
Shaw is completely open to any
suggestion. The bartender’s next
suggestion, which isn’tdircc ted at
Shaw, is that if the object of his
scorn is going to play cards like
that, he may as well go get a cab
and jump in the lake. Shaw
promptly does, leaving a bewil
dered Marco to follow along in
utter confusion.
While moments like that one,
and whenever Janet Leigh or
Leslie Parrish are onscreen, ex
emplify subtle humor and gentle
innocence, the film itselfisadark,
disturbing story of greed, lust and
self-centered deceit. It has humor
and heroes, but it’s not your stan
durd hero drama, and definitely not
a comedy.
AUhough at times toward the end
the clues seem practically stapled to
the characters’ foreheads, and they
probably should have figured things
out sooner than they did, “The
Manchurian Candidate” succeeds
admirably. It is a ground-breaking
film that still seems innovative and
fresh after 26 years and is mesmer
izing entertainment with a thought
provoking subtext.
Courtesy of United Artists
Frank Sinatra and the mysterious Queen of Diamonds in a
scene from The Manchurian Candidate/
Tonight in Concert
Living Legend Buddy Guy
& His Chicago Blues Band
9:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m.
$8 at the door
THE ZOO BAR 136 No. 14th
Film greats create ‘masterpiece ’
By Charles Lieurance
Senior Hdilor
If ever there was a pantheon
of cinematic greats assembled to
create one big screen classic,
“Who Framed Roger Rabbit?” is it.
So many deities touch this film
that it had every right to explode into
a big mess of celluloid flatulence. But
it is so obviously a labor of love and
devotion that the laurel of “master
piece” floats around its head quite
naturally. Sure, there is a kitchen sink
aura to “Who Framed Roger Rabbit?”
but the sink is full of disarming little
miracles and a few monumental ones.
The names attached to this produc
tion make sitting through the credits
(both closing and opening) a breeze:
Wall Disney studios, Steven
Spielberg, Robert Zemeckis Chuck
Jones (director ot bugs bunny, Dally
Duck, creator of Roadrunner and
Wile E. Coyote who visited Lincoln
during the Flatwatcr Festival), Mel
Blanc, Industrial Lights and Magic,
George Lucas, Katherine Tumcr, Bob
Hoskins, Warner Brothers’ Looney
Toons, Christopher Lloyd, etc.
The first 10-minute animated se
quence is an expressway to nostalgia
that actually manages to surpass the
great animation pioneered by Warner
Brothers studios from 1930 until the
early 1960s. We are introduced to a
rabbit to rival the king of rabbits, Bugs
Bunny, a hare apparent, if you will.
Roger Rabbit may not have the so
phistication or class of Bugs, but he
makes up for it with his total commit
ment to lunacy.
What’s more amazing than the
movie’s animation, the uniquccffccts
The Shi es of
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them now.
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that allow real actors and cartoon
characters to interact in three dimen
sional space and the machine gun
homages to the golden years of car
tooning, is that “Who Framed Roger
Rabbit?” has a plot that, if occasion
ally sidetracked for the sake of Indus
trial Lightand Magic’s circus of high
budget tricks, survi ves throughout the
course of the movie. Its send-up of
film noir, specifically Roman
Polanski’s “Chinatown,” is priceless,
with the cartoon paradise of Toon
town replacing Polanski’s dark, in
scrutable oriental section of Los
Hnvkinv nl-*vv lhr» harrlhr»ilr»H
haunted gumshoe, Eddie Valiant,
who’s just about given up on things
like personal honor and integrity in
favor of capturing live footage of
adulteries for a little boo/.c money. It
seems his brolher/partncr was killed
in Toontown by a falling piano. He
drinks to forget and, although he set
up his private investigation service to
make sure Toons got an even shake of
justice, has promised never to wander
into Toontown or its perimeters
again. Toontown for Valiant may not
be as dark as Polanski’s Chinatown,
but it’s just as inscrutable and myste
rious, justas filled with vague motiva
tions and obsessive, but unexplained,
behavior. It is the anarchic joy of
Toontown that truly frightens Val
win, uiai uicic is mo one mciu accuuiu
able for anything. In some ways Val
iant represents the parents who be
came frightened by Toontown in the
late 1960s and reduced Saturday
morning TV and TV for kids in gen
eral to a novocaine bland out. Valiant
admits that he used to go to Toontown
when he was young, for a laugh, but
now he wants order, sense. He will not
give in to Roger Rabbit continually
cajoling him back into the world of
See RABBIT on 11