6.9/10
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23 user 7 critic

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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1 win. See more awards »

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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)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

The $62.50 John makes per week would equate to $1,077 in 2017. 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

 
Seedy pre code melodrama-- another tainted gem by Mervyn LeRoy
6 November 2011 | by S_Craig_ZahlerSee all my reviews

There's no chance a movie like this is coming out of Hollywood this decade or the previous decade or in the nineties or eighties. Two Seconds is the story of an unhappy steel worker and his squalid little life. At times, Edward G. Robinson is very over the top, but when it matters, his performance is crackling with authenticity and passion and it is clear why this small and unattractive man became a huge Hollywood icon. His fire is undeniable.

Unpredictably plotted in the way many pre-code B pictures were, this piece is always engaging and alive and perhaps a bit too short. It contains an absolutely searing monologue that you will never forget and overall the work is a dirty window through which the desperation of life for the lower class in 1930 American can be gleaned.

A good film and a rich portrait.

(I saw 35mm prints of the movie at Film Forum, N.Y. on two occasions.)


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