Tuesday, August 30, 2011
That is exactly what Arthur Hamilton (John Randolph) is presented with early on in Seconds. He is taunted by phone calls in the middle of the night, making him think about leaving his family and steady job to start a new life. Does he deserve to fake his death for the sake of starting his life anew?
One moment in Seconds I adored was the reveal of Hamilton's new identity Tony Wilson (Rock Hudson, quite effective). His scar-covered face is exposed and Hamilton gets a glimpse of who he will be. He sees a vision of youth that he probably never had. His reaction and expression to the changes are flawless.
Seconds is an excellent movie. It gets muddled in the middle, but that aside it is very well done. The main contributors are John Frankenheimer's meticulous direction and Jerry Goldsmith's haunting score, but I want to say something about James Wong Howe's cinematography. The use of distorted imagery and close ups to capture a person's sense of uncertainty increases the paranoia the viewer might feel. And that makes for a damn good thriller.
My Rating: ****1/2