An unhappy middle-aged banker agrees to a procedure that will fake his death and give him a completely new look and identity - one that comes with its own price.



(screenplay), (based on the novel by)

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Frank Campanella ...
Man in Station
Frances Reid ...
Emily Hamilton
Barbara Werle ...
Tailor Shop Presser
Aaron Magidow ...
Meat Man
De De Young ...
Françoise Ruggieri ...
Girl in Boudoir
Thom Conroy ...
Dayroom Attendant
Mr. Ruby
Old Man
Khigh Dhiegh ...


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. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Who are SECONDS? The answer is almost too terrifying for words. From the bold, bizarre best-seller. The story of a man who buys for himself a totally new life. A man who lives the age-old dream -- If only I could live my life all over again. See more »


Sci-Fi | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

14 November 1966 (Brazil)  »

Also Known As:

Der Mann, der zweimal lebte  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (re-release: 1996)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


On assignment, professed Frankenheimer admirer Roger Avary wrote a remake titled 2NDS for director Jonathan Mostow. It was eventually canceled. See more »


Davalo's hand on the tape recorder disappears between shots. See more »


[first lines]
Man in Station: Mr. Hamilton?
Arthur Hamilton: Yes?
[Man in train station hands Hamilton a folded sheet of paper and turns to walk away; Hamilton stares after him, then opens the folded paper to find an address, with no explanation]
See more »


Referenced in That Girl: Two for the Money (1971) See more »


Love Is Just around the Corner
(1934) (uncredited)
Music by Lewis E. Gensler
Lyrics by Leo Robin
Played at the party
See more »

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User Reviews

Depressing as they get
18 September 2002 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Arthur Hamilton (John Randolph) is a middle-aged man. He has a nothing job and feels he has no purpose or direction in life. He can't even make love to his wife anymore. He is offered a new life by the Company--a secret organization. They will "kill" off Arthur and give him a new face, a new body and a new identity. He comes back as Tony Wilson (Rock Hudson). However, can he be happy in his new life?

Exceptional black and white cinematography by James Wong Howe; great direction by John Frankenheimer (all the extreme closeups and off kilter camera angles keep you uneasy); a perfect score by Jerry Goldsmith (the organ fits perfectly)...but this is almost unwatchable.

It's VERY depressing, very downbeat and (at times) way too slow (the beginning). It's easy to see why this was a box office bomb--it's way too depressing for the average viewer. The things I mentioned above help make the film bearable as does the acting.

Randolph is superb as Hamilton--you feel his pain and misery. Hudson, surprisingly, is pretty good. Sometimes he's not that good but there are certain sequences when he's exceptional--particularly at a wine party, a cocktail party (where he actually got drunk to play it realistically) and he explodes during the harrowing ending. The ending is one of the most horrific sequences I've ever seen. I felt like bolting from the theatre.

A one-of-kind horror thriller. I can't say I enjoyed this, but I'll never forget it. It has a big deserved cult following.

65 of 76 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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