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Seconds (1966)

Seconds (1966)

Rock HudsonFrank CampanellaJohn RandolphFrances Reid
John Frankenheimer


Seconds (1966) is a English movie. John Frankenheimer has directed this movie. Rock Hudson,Frank Campanella,John Randolph,Frances Reid are the starring of this movie. It was released in 1966. Seconds (1966) is considered one of the best Sci-Fi,Thriller movie in India and around the world.

Middle-aged banker Arthur Hamilton is given the opportunity to start a completely new life when he receives calls from his old friend Charlie. The only problem is that Charlie is supposed to be dead. Hamilton is eventually introduced to a firm that will fake his death and create an entirely new look and life for him. After undergoing physical reconstruction surgery and months of training and psychotherapy, Hamilton returns to the world in the form of artist Tony Wilson. He has a nice house in Malibu and a manservant, a company employee who is there to assist him with his adjustment. He finds that the life he had hoped for isn't quite what he expected and asks the company to go through the process with surprising results.


Seconds (1966) Reviews

  • Where do I sign up?


    SPOILERS. The director, the late John Frankenheimer, once commented that the problem with this movie is that it doesn't have a middle act, and he's right. The beginning and the end are gripping, in a Twilight Zone kind of way. The use of fish-eye lenses, although sometimes excessive, helps lend a surreal quality to the proceedings, which is apt. Here we have John Randolph, a nonentity, with a face that has all the appeal of a hard-boiled egg. He's converted into Rock Hudson, which is a considerable improvement, in appearance anyway. But both the organization and Hudson have botched it. Under hypnosis Rock has revealed that maybe his true desire is to be a painter, an artist. He winds up at a very nice beach house in Malibu, with an understanding servant, a studio with all the amenities, and Salome Jens as a woman he picks up on the beach. Not bad, eh? And all this for a mere $30,000. (The house alone would run 30 or 40 times that much now.) Well, to tell the truth, Rock seems a little unhappy in his new life. He dabs perfunctorily at his canvas. He doesn't smile much. He doesn't seem to be having a good time. So far, so good, but then we enter the befouled middle act. Salome Jens hustles him off to a Saturnalian bacchanal in the forest. Everybody gets drunk, strips, plays musical instruments, and dances around in a vat full of grapes. Rock is at first repelled but is dragged into the vat anyway and gets drunk and ecstatically happy. Fine, right? But then later, Rock is urged to give a party for his neighbors, all of whom turn out to be retreads like himself. Rock begins to drink cocktails and gets loaded. But what is the reaction of his guests? This time it's disgust. Jens cautions him to "take it easy" on the booze, but why? It's the only time we see him happy, and what's so worrisome about being drunk at a party where everyone else is drinking too? Disgust turns to a deeper concern when Rock begins making allusions to his previous life. He's a Harvard graduate and you can't keep them down. Finally he realizes that he's not really made out for this kind of life, for reasons never made entirely clear. Well, not made clear at all. Not even explored in the dialogue. Was his dream of being a painter just a childhood fantasy, like wanting to be an astronaut? What is the source of his dissatisfaction? There is a good scene in which he visits his wife, who now believes her husband to have died in a fire. He asks about some watercolors he'd done in his previous life and discovers that they were thrown out. No question about his original identity having been dismal. So he complains to the organization that he wants yet ANOTHER identity. The very sensible and reassuring Will Geer handles him and tells him that everything is fine and they'll re-do him. Geer, in a perfect performance, doesn't tell him that a second renovation involves his death. Rock will provide a cadaver as a substitute for a new guy entering the program. Nothing is more scary than the doctors, having strapped Rock down, lowering a bone drill onto his skull behind the ear. How does Rock perform? Pretty well. It's certainly his best dramatic role. And the supporting cast is flawless. The logic behind the middle of the story is its greatest weakness. The rest is well worth watching.

  • One of the greatest thrillers ever made, and one of the most overlooked American movies of the 1960s.


    You could make a strong case for the late John Frankenheimer being the most unappreciated American film director of all time simply by mentioning his two astonishing 1960s movies 'The Manchurian Candidate' and 'Seconds'. Frankenheimer made many others movies both good and not so good, but these two are amazing pieces of work and rarely get the praise they deserve. 'Seconds' is one of the greatest thrillers ever made. Intelligent, complex, and extremely depressing. It doesn't talk down to its audience and perhaps this is the reason why it was a box office flop and is still all but ignored today. Rock Hudson isn't an actor with much credibility to most film fans but he is brilliant in this film in easily his most powerful and believable performance ever. The rest of the supporting cast are excellent, especially the underrated character actors John Randolph ('Serpico'), Will Geer (TV's 'The Waltons') and Jeff Corey ('Mickey One'). 'Seconds' is a minor masterpiece. A very disturbing story with an unforgettable climax. Highly recommended!

  • the best midlife crisis film


    Midlife crisis films are rare beasts, but everybody loves them. Look at the success of "American Beauty," probably the most stereotypical depiction of middle-class America that I've ever seen. Quite shallow in its way, "Beauty" was a hit because of its subject matter - it tackled some taboos and had the nerve to portray the problems of "ordinary" people. But you know what - it had been done before, and better, here. "Seconds" is the story of a middle-aged banker who undergoes surgery to become - this part is really a gas - Rock Hudson! He's given an outlet to escape from his loveless family life and tedious job, and he becomes a swinging painter/playboy with a beautiful house on the coast. Of course, he soon finds that good looks and money are no substitute for what he really wants - some kind of genuine intimacy in his life. Is this message a bit too predictable? Oh, I dunno - we all seem to agree that the pursuit of wealth is an empty one, yet we indulge in it all the same. The social problems explored in "Seconds" are still very much with us, and our awareness of these problems certainly hasn't solved them. The film ultimately acts as a powerful, sobering reminder that most of us aren't doing what we really want to do. Plenty of great style on display here from director Frankenheimer. There's a wonderful "wobbly camera" drunk scene that is so realistic, you'll feel as though you've been hitting the bottle yourself. There's also consistent effective use of point-of-view shots and unusual angles. In terms of subject matter and directorial flair, this film is incredibly innovative...it's taken years for us to catch up to this kind of material, and yet we still haven't topped it. Definitely in my top twenty.

  • Seconds : a realistic tale of suffocating paranoia


    "Seconds" is a fascinating and engrossing realistic fantasy tale that deals with the question of the identity and above all, the exploration of madness symbolized by the search of material happiness and the search of eternal youth which leads to the most claustrophobic fate. "Please be yourself !" can be the warning of this film. The innovative and the post-expressionist cinematography of James Wong Howe (the use of the 9.7 mm fish-eye lens, extreme chiaroscuro, tilted low angle shots, hand-held camera shots) combined with the stylish graphic work of Saul Bass and a cold, taut and harsh music of Jerry Goldsmith makes it like a Faustian tragedy with a Kafkaesque approach. The whole film is about distortion. The twisted vision of the main character trapped in his own nightmarish world, full of "re-borns" and "employees". But the real nightmare is the dreary routine of his existence. For instance, the scene of the train when Arthur Hamilton is reading his newspaper and feels suddenly sick with his life. We see very short shots of the train window and his sad face. The more oppressive scenes are silent just extreme close-ups of faces. Perhaps, the best film directed by John Frankenheimer and the best paranoiac film ever created. "Classic" is a weak word to define this masterpiece of modern terror. "Seconds" is the last film of the John Frankenheimer's paranoiac trilogy, without forgetting : "The Manchurian Candidate" and "Seven days in may".

  • A downer to watch, but upon reflection, very rewarding...


    This film is so chilling & depressing to sit thru, because, from the first frame to the last, it is totally devoid of any life and human spirit. Anderson is, from the beginning, a walking dead man with no values, no real love, no meaning to his life, and he takes that with him into his "rebirth." Only this is no spiritual rebirth. All poor Anderson can do now is party and get drunk in order to escape from this new reality, which is even more soulless than his original one. Character is destiny. That's why the "company" has so many failures. Even the Old Man can't see this. He thinks the failures are due to "mistakes." It often gets categorized as a thriller, but to me it's a tragedy and a very profound one at that. It's about the tragic results of life lived without meaning, without real values, without love, without spirit. Like all real tragedy, SECONDS is cathartic. I had to go for a long walk after I saw this one. Its depiction of spiritual emptiness, though depressing to sit through, is ultimately rewarding.


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