In an overpopulated futuristic Earth, a New York police detective finds himself marked for murder by government agents when he gets too close to a bizarre state secret involving the origins of a revolutionary and needed new foodstuff.
Edward G. Robinson,
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
This was John Randolph's first film for fifteen years (since an uncredited one-day bit part in "Fourteen Hours"). He had been blacklisted for his radical sympathies in the early '50s, and his wife Sara Cunningham later said that he had been on the blacklist longer than any other actor. Two other actors in prominent roles, Jeff Corey and Nedrick Young, were also long blacklisted. See more »
Cameraman briefly visible during the grape stomping scene. See more »
Man in Station:
[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]
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During one's life, there comes a time when the wisdom accumulated during the early years does not serve to make a choice any easier in later life. There are not too many films which offer the viewer a choice to finish watching or not. When one is a youngster and watching a monster film, one can always run screaming from the theater if the scenes get frightening. That will be the reaction when you're watching this film. It starts easy enough when a middle-age man, John Randolph (Arthur Hamilton) decides to accept an offer to 'exchange' his given life, and trade it for a more youthful one. The transition is casual enough, but director John Frankenheimer, adroitly uses the Black and White images to lure not only the audience, but the subject into a false sense of security and tranquility. During the fantastic transformation from old John Randolph to youthful, handsome and attractive Antiochus 'Tony' Wilson, (Rock Hudson) he and the audience is gently beaconed and eased into the new, but alien life by a calm and compassionate guide, called the "Old Man. (Will Geer)" It's his job to ally the fears and reassure suspicions that 'everything is going to be alright.' The fact is the film is so tranquil, one hardly suspects the new life, unless the subject and the audience want to go home. John/Tony choose this option. The way back however is impossible, but only the audience is privy to it. The subject is removed from his 'second' life and given a quiet room, to collect his thoughts. It's here, the subject and the audience are once again joined by the Old Man, who will ease us not to the comfort of a New Life, but to make us aware that escape and the exit doors are twenty feet away. It's time to choose again, but you'd better hurry. The end is terrifying in it's finality. *****
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