Tuesday, August 30, 2011


What would it be like to start your life with a new identity? Your past is erased and your future is presented with a clean slate.

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


  1. Sounds appealing, but I don't know if it sounds appealing enough to see. Movies from the 60s have to very good for me to enjoy. That's just me, though. Dan/MoviePlayoffs

  2. In "Seconds" Rock Hudson got a chance to show some range in a rather anti-heroic role. I thought he did a fine job - I'd recommend the film for many reasons and Hudson's performance is one of them.

  3. A great, creepy, risk-taking movie that was probably Hudson's shining moment as an actor. This is what sci0fi used to be before Star Wars and I miss that Serlingesque focus on character and how science can warp it and society.

  4. ive been meaning to watch this one for a while but the trailer makes it look unappealing. theres something about old trailers that leave a lot to be desired. i should stop paying attention to them. much like old scifi novels, the coverart and the blurb never give you the right impression of the contents.


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