7.7/10
15,173
144 user 134 critic

Seconds (1966)

An unhappy middle-aged banker agrees to a procedure that will fake his death and give him a completely new look and identity - one that comes with its own price.

Director:

John Frankenheimer

Writers:

Lewis John Carlino (screenplay), David Ely (based on the novel by)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Frank Campanella Frank Campanella ... Man in Station
John Randolph ... Arthur Hamilton
Frances Reid ... Emily Hamilton
Barbara Werle ... Secretary
Edgar Stehli Edgar Stehli ... Tailor Shop Presser
Aaron Magidow Aaron Magidow ... Meat Man
Dee Dee Young Dee Dee Young ... Nurse (as De De Young)
Françoise Ruggieri ... Girl in Boudoir
Murray Hamilton ... Charlie
Thom Conroy Thom Conroy ... Dayroom Attendant
Jeff Corey ... Mr. Ruby
Will Geer ... Old Man
Richard Anderson ... Dr. Innes
Rock Hudson ... Antiochus Wilson
Khigh Dhiegh ... Davalo
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Storyline

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 garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Not for weak sisters! May not even be for strong stomachs! See more »

Genres:

Sci-Fi | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

2 October 1966 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Seconds See more »

Filming Locations:

Malibu, California, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (re-release: 1996)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

French censorship certificate: -13. See more »

Goofs

When Tony is on the gurney with the gag in his mouth, as he is trashing about, the knot in the surgical tubing moves inconsistently between shots. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Man in Station: Mr. Hamilton?
Arthur Hamilton: Yes?
[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 »

Alternate Versions

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 »

Connections

Referenced in Erased James Franco (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

That Old Black Magic
(1942) (uncredited)
Music by Harold Arlen
Lyrics by Johnny Mercer
Played at the party
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Seconds : a realistic tale of suffocating paranoia
11 April 1999 | by urickSee all my reviews

"Seconds" is a fascinating and engrossing realistic fantasy tale that deals with the question of the identity and above all, the exploration of madness symbolized by the search of material happiness and the search of eternal youth which leads to the most claustrophobic fate. "Please be yourself !" can be the warning of this film. The innovative and the post-expressionist cinematography of James Wong Howe (the use of the 9.7 mm fish-eye lens, extreme chiaroscuro, tilted low angle shots, hand-held camera shots) combined with the stylish graphic work of Saul Bass and a cold, taut and harsh music of Jerry Goldsmith makes it like a Faustian tragedy with a Kafkaesque approach. The whole film is about distortion. The twisted vision of the main character trapped in his own nightmarish world, full of "re-borns" and "employees". But the real nightmare is the dreary routine of his existence. For instance, the scene of the train when Arthur Hamilton is reading his newspaper and feels suddenly sick with his life. We see very short shots of the train window and his sad face. The more oppressive scenes are silent just extreme close-ups of faces. Perhaps, the best film directed by John Frankenheimer and the best paranoiac film ever created. "Classic" is a weak word to define this masterpiece of modern terror. "Seconds" is the last film of the John Frankenheimer's paranoiac trilogy, without forgetting : "The Manchurian Candidate" and "Seven days in may".


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