I went with [personal profile] greenygal, [profile] ipleasance and A to see Muppet Treasure Island and The Manchurian Candidate (1962) today.

Muppets Treasure Island was a delight -- from Billy Conolly as Billy Bones, through Kermit as Capt. Smollet and Miss Piggy as Benjamina Gunn, to Tim Curry's star turn as Long John Silver. Also, just imagine how difficult it must be to do the fight choreography for a sword-fight with Muppets! Also, Gonzo's occasionally Star Trek jokes! The opening song! The Hans Zimmer score!

The Manchurian Candidate was also quite enjoyable, and I need to see more of Angela Lansbury playing villains -- this and The Court Jester are the only two times I can recall seeing her really get to be evil, and she's so good at it. Also, all of us were suspicious of Janet Leigh's character Eugenie Rose Chaney, mainly because her sudden attachment to Frank Sinatra's Maj. Bennett Marco came out of nowhere and was inexplicably fast and dedicated -- we suspected she was another agent, actually, though apparently not.

Laurence Harvey's Raymond Shaw was very pretty, very charismatic, and quite often a jerk. Also, his accent slipped noticeably during some scenes, which threw me off. Otoh, I definitely sympathized with the character and found Harvey's performance excellent.

The most conspicuous problems I had with the film is the use of non-Asian actors to play Asian characters -- Henry Silva was very obviously not Korean, for example -- and the black & white film stock flattening out the black characters, which is a known problem in a lot of movie history.

I'm really glad the movies were shown in that order, because I don't think it would have worked nearly as well to see The Manuchurain Candidate first.

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