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Two Seconds (1932)

 |  Drama, Thriller  |  28 May 1932 (USA)
6.9
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 524 users  
Reviews: 17 user | 5 critic

A condemned murderer, in the process of being executed, relives the events that led to his being sentenced to die in the electric chair.

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(play), (adaptation) (as Harvey Thew)
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Title: Two Seconds (1932)

Two Seconds (1932) on IMDb 6.9/10

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Vivienne Osborne ...
Guy Kibbee ...
Preston Foster ...
J. Carrol Naish ...
Tony (as J. Carroll Naish)
Frederick Burton ...
Judge
Harry Beresford ...
Doctor
Dorothea Wolbert ...
Lizzie, Cleaning Lady
...
The Warden
William Janney ...
College Boy at Execution
Edward McWade ...
The Prison Doctor
Gladys Lloyd ...
Woman
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Storyline

Allen claims he his being executed for the wrong murder. Flashbacks show him working with Clark as a riveter. When he makes a killing on the horses he meets Shirley and gets married. When Clark tells him Shirley is unfaithful they fight and Clark falls to his death. Later he finds that Clark was telling the truth. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

In two seconds he became the slave of the woman he hated! Two blinding, flashing seconds that stripped him of honor and branded his soul!

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

28 May 1932 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Dois Segundos  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The premise behind this film was previously used in The Last Moment (1928). See more »

Quotes

College Boy at Execution: Look, Doctor, when that current's turned on, how long will it take before it's all over?
The Prison Doctor: You mean before I'll pronounce him dead?
College Boy at Execution: No, before he actually is dead. Will he pass out as soon as the current hits him?
The Prison Doctor: No.
Reporter: He won't? I thought it was all over just like that!
[He snaps his finger]
The Prison Doctor: Not with a powerful fellow like John Allen. His body will be paralyzed but his brain will continue to function for... maybe two seconds.
College Boy at Execution: Gee, those'll be the longest two seconds he ever lived!
The Prison Doctor: Long enough for ...
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Public Enemies: The Golden Age of the Gangster Film (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

Whistle and Blow Your Blues Away
(uncredited)
Music by Carmen Lombardo
Played when Shirley dances with another guy
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Harbinger Of The Postman Always Rings Twice
21 January 2010 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

The premise of Two Seconds was put over far better in the novel by James M. Cain and the film made from that novel, The Postman Always Rings Twice. It's the idea of a man being convicted of the wrong murder and paying the wrong debt to society. But the acting of leads Edward G. Robinson and Preston Foster put the story over somewhat.

The film is adapted from a play by Elliott Lester that ran for 59 performances on Broadway in 1932. Preston Foster in fact appeared in the original production as the best friend of the protagonist. On stage the role that Edward G. Robinson has was played by Edward Pawley who later did join Warner Brothers and played various varieties of hoodlum henchmen.

Quite a bit of rewriting had to be done as the play is completely set in a prison death house where Pawley/Robinson is going to the electric chair. The title refers to the exact amount of time that the prisoner has when the warden throws the switch and he actually expires from the electricity. It's in this time that Robinson's character reflects on how he got there.

From the claustrophobic setting of the death house, Warner Brothers got as far as possible when we see Edward G. Robinson and Preston Foster as a pair of riveters working on girders building those skyscrapers that tickle the heavens in New York. A pair making the princely sum of $62.50 a week and Foster doesn't think Robinson spends enough because you can't take it with you.

But before long Robinson is in the hands of goldigging Vivienne Osborne who's finding all kinds of uses for his money and that drives the two men apart. Osborne gives a great performance as a two timing pre-Code type of gal who later would have her act considerably cleaned up by the censors.

Robinson and Foster do all right, but Two Seconds will not be rated as in the top ten for either of these film stalwarts.


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