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


What Are Seconds?... The Answer May Be Too Terrifying For Words! 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?


Initially director John Frankenheimer was reluctant to cast Hudson, whom he felt was a lightweight actor in comparison to Laurence Olivier and Kirk Douglas, other actors he wanted for the lead part. It was only after Hudson's agent convinced him at a party that Hudson could do the role that he went ahead with Hudson. He has later gone on to praise Hudson's work in the film and felt he was impeccably cast. See more »


When Tony is being shown the blackmail film that is calculated to get him to cooperate, the blackmailer sits in the guest chair next to Tony. After an assistance enters the room, the blackmailer rises to greet him, then returns to the chair to find Tony's hat has mysteriously appeared on the chair, and has to be removed for him to sit down again. 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: Pass the Potatoes, Ethel Merman (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

Abre los ojos,thirty years ago.
17 April 2003 | by See all my reviews

Some movies which failed when they were released became sleepers ,and in the case of "seconds" quite rightly so.It predates "Abre los ojos" (and thus "Vanilla Sky" so to speak) by 30 years !"Carnival of souls" did the same for "Jacob's ladder" and "the sixth sense".Those two works did more:they invented what we call the "indie cinema" and David Lynch's first -and best- two works owe them a great deal.

By far Rock Hudson's best performance -with the eventual exception of ,in a diametrically opposite style, "all that Heaven allows"-,"seconds" is what we can call a movie ahead of its time.The weakness some users are complaining of -the lack of psychological depth - is intentional;and if some sequences may seem long,this length inspires their vital nightmarish side -the drunken revel ,the bacchanalian dance are so unexpected that they pack a real wallop.The camera uses disturbing angles and Frankenheimer does not need a ton of special effects to exude pure primal fear.

This movie ,"the Mandchurian candidate" and "Birdman of Alcatraz are enough to make Frankenheimer go down in History of seventh art.

25 of 26 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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