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
Although Rock Hudson is top billing, he appears on screen only after 40 minutes of running time because the character he plays has quite different face and look after being transformed by a physical reconstruction surgery. John Randolph was chosen to play the scenes of the beginning before the physical reconstruction surgery. 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 »
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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Midlife crisis films are rare beasts, but everybody loves them. Look at the success of "American Beauty," probably the most stereotypical depiction of middle-class America that I've ever seen. Quite shallow in its way, "Beauty" was a hit because of its subject matter - it tackled some taboos and had the nerve to portray the problems of "ordinary" people. But you know what - it had been done before, and better, here.
"Seconds" is the story of a middle-aged banker who undergoes surgery to become - this part is really a gas - Rock Hudson! He's given an outlet to escape from his loveless family life and tedious job, and he becomes a swinging painter/playboy with a beautiful house on the coast. Of course, he soon finds that good looks and money are no substitute for what he really wants - some kind of genuine intimacy in his life.
Is this message a bit too predictable? Oh, I dunno - we all seem to agree that the pursuit of wealth is an empty one, yet we indulge in it all the same. The social problems explored in "Seconds" are still very much with us, and our awareness of these problems certainly hasn't solved them. The film ultimately acts as a powerful, sobering reminder that most of us aren't doing what we really want to do.
Plenty of great style on display here from director Frankenheimer. There's a wonderful "wobbly camera" drunk scene that is so realistic, you'll feel as though you've been hitting the bottle yourself. There's also consistent effective use of point-of-view shots and unusual angles. In terms of subject matter and directorial flair, this film is incredibly innovative...it's taken years for us to catch up to this kind of material, and yet we still haven't topped it. Definitely in my top twenty.
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