Philip Gianos of California State University, Fullerton, is the author of Politics and Politicians in American Film. Independent scholar and journalist Gaspar Gonzalez is co-author of What Have They Built You to Do?: The Manchurian Candidate and Cold War America.
The movies we'll discuss are:
“All the King’s Men” (1949) – Robert Rossen directed this classic political film based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Robert Penn Warren, a thinly veiled portrait of Depression-era Louisiana governor Huey Long.
“All the King’s Men” (2006): Steven Zaillian wrote and directed this remake, which remains largely faithful to the original version.
“The Manchurian Candidate” (1962): John Frankenheimer directed this classic political thriller that, when first released, was considered far ahead of its time.
“The Manchurian Candidate” (2004): Jonathan Demme directed this remake, updating its themes and plotlines to address the Bush Administration’s war on terror.
Watch the films, and then weigh in: How do you think the remakes compare to the original versions? How are the films shaped by the politics of the times in which they were made?