Seconds (1966)

R  |   |  Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi  |  14 November 1966 (Brazil)
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 10,543 users  
Reviews: 124 user | 109 critic

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 2 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Nora Marcus
Old Man
Mr. Ruby
Dr. Morris
Khigh Dhiegh ...
Frances Reid ...
Emily Hamilton
John Lawrence ...
Elisabeth Fraser ...
Plump Blonde
Dodie Heath ...
Sue Bushman (as Dody Heath)
Robert Brubaker ...


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 »

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?


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 »


When Tony is on the gurney with the gag in his mouth, as he is trashing about, the knot in the surgical tubing moves inconsistently 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: To Each Her Own (1967) See more »


That Old Black Magic
Music by Harold Arlen
Lyrics by Johnny Mercer
Played at the party
See more »

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User Reviews

Seconds : a realistic tale of suffocating paranoia
11 April 1999 | by (Paris, France) – See all my reviews

"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".

79 of 89 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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