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
Initially director John Frankenheimer was reluctant to cast Hudson, who he felt was a lightweight actor in comparison to Laurence Olivier and Kirk Douglas, other actors he wanted for the lead part. It was only after Hudson's agent convinced him at a party that Hudson could do the role that he went ahead with Hudson. He has later gone on to praise Hudson's work in the film and felt he was impeccably cast. See more »
At the beginning, when Arthur Hamilton is on the train, he gets his newspaper and starts doing crosswords with a pen in his right hand. Later on he signs the contract at the clinic with his holding the pen in his left hand. 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]
See more »
The re-released version in 1996 (originally debuting on laserdisc) restores various shots of nudity to the "orgy" sequence involving crushing wine grapes. This was how John Frankenheimer originally shot the scene but the MPAA refused to allow the nudity to pass so the theatrical release was re-edited to remove all nude shots. See more »
Convincing, noiresque, nightmare of modernity. Superlative camera work and probably Rock Hudson's best performance.
Just had to add a note of admiration for this greatly overlooked masterpiece of modern angst. I saw it when a student in Glasgow in 1969. That is probably why it has stayed to haunt me - possibly to the grave. Beyond that, I really don't know.
I'm no film critic but like several of the cinema cognoscenti, I was surprised Rock had a movie like this in him. Probably his best. The camera work takes you right in. You don't remember willingly suspending disbelief. It is as plausible and convincing as a good nightmare. Bleak, black and white, terse like John Boorman's Point Blank. Round about the same time as Blow Up appeared. Also a surprisingly mature performance from David Hemmings, matched the mood of powerlessness and fatalism that pervades Seconds.
A little further off it recalled the Incredible Shrinking Man. The same mood of fatalism pervades but from a different perspective. In the latter, the isolated individual is redeemed by some metaphysical union with the universe. In Seconds the isolated, narcissistic self implodes.
John Frankenheimer's modern Frankenstein. Or another parallel universemight be Dorian Grey. It is a multi layered movie.
14 of 14 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this