Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Movie Kisses: Orestes and The Manchurian Candidate

[This is part of my "movie kisses of taste" series, but it's actually a movie kiss of distaste. The scene is so vivid though, it must be included, since I realized a while ago that I wasn't compiling romantic sexy kisses alone, but rather ones that are remarkable in some way, which this one certainly is.]

Raymond Shaw (Laurence Harvey, below, right) describes his feelings for his domineering, ambitious mother to Marco (Frank Sinatra), in The Manchurian Candidate:
"But I didn 't always hate her. When I was a child, I only kind of disliked her."
Sinatra replies he feels like he's listening to Orestes talk about his mother, Clytemnestra.

Philos-aphilos (love-hate), like you find among family members and lovers, is a powerful force, and it's the theme running through Aeschylus's trilogy of plays about the House of Atreus, the Oresteia, and also The Manchurian Candidate (1962).
Shaw has been turned into an assassin by communist brainwashing during the Korean War, and his American operative is his mother, who is scheming for political power.

Having been living with the story of Orestes for a year now, I should totally have guessed how this movie ends. (If you haven't seen it, I won't spoil it. If you have, you'll remember.)
But I didn't.
I was shocked, and never more shocked than when Shaw's mother, the perfectly chilled Angela Lansbury, kisses him.

This almost counts as a tentacle grope.


Rudyinparis said...

It's somehow perfect that I have actually seen The Manchurian Candidate but do not have any memory of it.

Fresca said...

The Commies got you, eh? : )
It's a bit slow (by modern standards) but *well* worth watching again for its final 15 minutes.

momo said...

Same here! I saw it ages ago, but dont remember the kiss. I do remember Angela Lansbury being very scary.

Fresca said...

Well, that's the main thing--she IS very scary!