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
Beach Boys composer Brian Wilson saw the movie in a theater during its first run. Overworked and showing signs of a breakdown, Wilson both liked the theme of the movie (changing identities and starting over), and found its downside disturbing. He wondered later if musical rival Phil Spector had somehow convinced Columbia Pictures to produce the movie, just "to mess with my mind". See more »
In the final scene, a cranial drill would leave a suspicious hole in his scalp and cranium that would not be destroyed in the planned "car accident". 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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A downer to watch, but upon reflection, very rewarding...
This film is so chilling & depressing to sit thru, because, from the first frame to the last, it is totally devoid of any life and human spirit. Anderson is, from the beginning, a walking dead man with no values, no real love, no meaning to his life, and he takes that with him into his "rebirth." Only this is no spiritual rebirth. All poor Anderson can do now is party and get drunk in order to escape from this new reality, which is even more soulless than his original one. Character is destiny. That's why the "company" has so many failures. Even the Old Man can't see this. He thinks the failures are due to "mistakes."
It often gets categorized as a thriller, but to me it's a tragedy and a very profound one at that. It's about the tragic results of life lived without meaning, without real values, without love, without spirit.
Like all real tragedy, SECONDS is cathartic. I had to go for a long walk after I saw this one. Its depiction of spiritual emptiness, though depressing to sit through, is ultimately rewarding.
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