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
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 »
Rock Hudson was five inches taller than his "older self" John Randolph. This was worked around with a careful choice of camera angles. Randolph and Hudson also spent casual time together in the days before shooting, so Hudson could learn to copy Randolph's mannerisms. See more »
When Tony is on the airplane on his way to Malibu the "clouds" outside the window move from right to left as you would expect. However they then reverse and move the other way. 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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Even though "The Manchurian Candidate" has it beat for entertainment value, "Seconds" is overall a superior film
"Seconds" is the other masterpiece of Frankenheimer from the 60s, the other being "The Manchurian Candidate". It manages to be even more underrated than that classic. The film was far to grim and depressing to find an audience when released, and its still unjustly ignored. This is a shame, because its one of the most stunningly original and uncompromising films to come out of Hollywood. Even though "The Manchurian Candidate" has it beat for entertainment value, "Seconds" is overall a superior film. The protagonist is fascinating and sympathetic. One of the most impressive aspects is how his personality and emotions manage to remain consistent despite being played by two different actors (John Randolph and Rock Hudson). Hudson is an actor who is considered by some to be simply a matinée idol, but occasionally he managed to turn in a good performance. This is easily his best work.
One of the most effective aspects of the film is that its science fiction that is both intelligent and not implausible. Its a shame that in the post "Star Wars" era, mature science fiction films are a rarity. It also works as a paranoia thriller but without the dark humor and satire of "The Manchurian Candidate". The only real flaw I felt was the hippie orgy scene in the middle. It stops the film dead in its track and I get the feeling its inclusion was simply to make the film more relevant. Its the only dated aspect. Outside of that blunder, this film is a masterpiece. The terrific supporting cast of character actors includes familiar faces such as Khigh Dhiegh ("The Manchurian Candidate"), Wesley Addy ("Kiss Me Deadly"), and Murray Hamilton ("Jaws"). (8/10)
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