Four movies worth another look

From time to time, I have highlighted various movies that range from old to new. Today, I want to focus on a few that people may have overlooked due to the age of the movieĀ or because they slipped under the radar screen less detected. If you have not seen these movies, give them a shot. If you have not seen them in awhile, please take the impetus to revisit them. In no particular order:

The Manchurian Candidate – although a remake has been done, the first version aired in 1962 and was directed by John Frankenheimer. It starred Frank Sinatra, Angela Lansbury (who plays antagonists very well), Laurence Harvey, Janet Leigh and James Gregory. It was the first movie about the subject of brainwashing and incorporates flashes of the technique as we try to figure out what is going on as the story plays out around a presidential candidate.

Madame X – released in 1966, this is one of my favorite Lana Turner movies. It was directed by David Lowell Rich and also starred John Forsyth, Ricardo Montalban, Burgess Meredith and Keir Dullea. The movie is about a famous woman who, after an affair, is paid to go away by a conniving mother-in-law to protect her son. The movie eventually leads to this woman being put on trial many years later, where she only wants to die for her crime, simply signing her name “Madame X.”

The African Queen – released in 1951, this John Huston directed movie stars Humphrey Bogart and Katherine Hepburn. Many have likely seen this movie, but it is two stars at their best, as the Nile River vessel, the African Queen is piloted by a heavily drinking captain in Bogart to ferry his lone passenger in Hepburn. The struggles of two very different people is worth the watch and takes you through a series of emotions.

The Dead Zone – the newest of the four movies was released in 1983. It covers one of my favorite of Stephen King’s books and was directed by David Cronenburg. Christopher Walken stars as a man who recovers from a coma following a car accident having the power to see the future by touching someone, but with some haze or a dead zone. He learns that he has the power to change the hazy part. It is a fascinating story on the power to change the future, especially when it is horrific. Martin Sheen plays a presidential candidate, Brooke Adams plays the now married ex-girlfriend who had stopped waiting for Walken’s character to come out of his coma. Tom Skerritt, Herbert Lam and Anthony Zerbe play excellent roles, as well.

I enjoyed revisiting these movies. Please give them a new look or a first look, if you have not seen them. Three involve people’s ability to impact significant politicians, while the fourth involves two different people working toward a common cause. Tell me what you think and share other gems you like.