Movie Monologue Monday – Angela Lansbury in The Manchurian Candidate

Angela Lansbury in The Manchurian Candidate

Angela Lansbury in The Manchurian Candidate

This week’s Movie Monologue Monday is a mind-blowing performance from Angela Lansbury. Yes, dear old Mrs. Potts from Beauty and the Beast can grab the camera with a white-hot intensity.

If you haven’t seen this film, I highly recommend it. See this one, the original 1962 film, not the 2004 remake. I also recommend you stop reading because the rest of this post is a major spoiler alert.







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Lansbury is speaking to her son in this scene. He has been brainwashed as part of a far-reaching Communist conspiracy. In the monologue she programs him with his mission, which is to assassinate a political candidate.

Here are a few observations and things to watch for.

  • Look into her eyes, deeeeeeeeep into her eyes. She almost never blinks as she unveils the plan.
  • Watch her hand placement. Her hands and arms move in deliberate gestures, purposeful, thought-out movements.
  • Notice how her intensity barely goes above a whisper even as she swells with emotion in the middle.
  • Watch how she walks toward him, she stalks like a lion stalking prey.
  • Break the speech into acts. She uses several tactics to dominate him throughout the speech. Mark the beats, note how her voice changes, how her intensity changes, she gets warm, cold, fast, slow, confident, pained. Note how her physicality changes throughout the speech.

Enjoy the performance of one of the greatest villains in film history…

About the author

Craig Mason