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Two Seconds (1932)

A condemned murderer, in the process of being executed, relives the events that led to his being sentenced to die in the electric chair.

Director:

Mervyn LeRoy

Writers:

Elliott Lester (play), Harvey F. Thew (adaptation) (as Harvey Thew)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Edward G. Robinson ... John Allen
Vivienne Osborne ... Shirley Day
Guy Kibbee ... Bookie
Preston Foster ... Bud Clark
J. Carrol Naish ... Tony (as J. Carroll Naish)
Frederick Burton ... Judge
Harry Beresford ... Doctor
Dorothea Wolbert ... Lizzie, Cleaning Lady
Berton Churchill ... The Warden
William Janney ... College Boy at Execution
Edward McWade ... The Prison Doctor
Gladys Lloyd ... Woman
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Storyline

Allen claims he his being executed for the wrong murder. Flashbacks show him working with Clark as a riveter. When he makes a killing on the horses he meets Shirley and gets married. When Clark tells him Shirley is unfaithful they fight and Clark falls to his death. Later he finds that Clark was telling the truth. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

In two seconds he became the slave of the woman he hated! Two blinding, flashing seconds that stripped him of honor and branded his soul!

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

28 May 1932 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Deux secondes See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$310,000 (estimated)

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$822,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

First National Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Based on a play of the same title that opened on Broadway at the Ritz Theatre, 219 W. 48th St. on October 9, 1931 and ran for 59 performances. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
The Warden: And another thing...
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Public Enemies: The Golden Age of the Gangster Film (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

Lucky Day
(uncredited)
Music by Ray Henderson
Lyrics by Lew Brown and Buddy G. DeSylva
Sung by Preston Foster
Also played when Bud and John are waiting for the bookie
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Edward G shows us his range
25 January 2010 | by LCShackleySee all my reviews

Here's a short but interesting pre-Code thriller about lonely riveter John Allen (Edward G Robinson) who lives with his pal Bud. John doesn't have much luck with the ladies; all his blind dates turn out to be duds. While escaping one particularly bad date, John ends up in a dance hall and meets the charming 10-cents-a-dance girl Shirley Day (Vivienne Osborne). She knows how to take care of herself (she slaps one groping guy, saying "you payed 10 cents for your feet, not your hands"), but when John helps her escape from another pesky patron she treats him like her knight in shining armor.

Well, a guy who looks like Edward G should know that the cutest girl in the room is not REALLY going to fall for him, but he takes the bait, and life goes downhill from there.

The film is told in an interesting fashion. It begins at the electric chair, and the events of the next hour are supposedly John Allen's flashbacks during the two seconds it takes to "fry."

Robinson does a nice job in the film, showing a lot of range from his usual swagger, to vulnerability, to sheer insanity. TWO SECONDS is fairly edgy in terms of content, coming two years before the Hays code cracked down on such things. It's worth a look to see Robinson doing something in the 30s besides playing gangsters.


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