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
When Tony is being shown the blackmail film that is calculated to get him to cooperate, the blackmailer sits in the guest chair next to Tony. After an assistance enters the room, the blackmailer rises to greet him, then returns to the chair to find Tony's hat has mysteriously appeared on the chair, and has to be removed for him to sit down again. 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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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 »
SECONDS decries the dehumanization of the middle class. The protagonist is a successful banker, though successful at banking, in late middle age finds his life devoid of purpose. Given an opportunity to completely start his life over he jumps at the chance even though it means he must "die" and be reborn in a new body.
Filmed in black and white SECONDS has that unsettling jumpy-jangly editing and sound track I associate with 50s film noir. It keeps the viewer off balance and out of kilter, like the banker who slides slowly, effortlessly into a more ominous dehumanized existence than the one he left. An oddly (but successfully) cast Rock Hudson gives a great performance as the 'reborn' banker. Recommended when in the mood for something different.
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