Rock Hudson stars in this unsettling look at second chances. Banker Arthur Hamilton (John Randolph) lives a comfortable, stifling life until he is contacted by a mysterious caller offering “what every middle-aged man wants: complete freedom.” Hamilton, with the help of an enigmatic corporation, fakes his own death and starts over in his new swinging-bachelor persona (now played by Rock Hudson). A change of life, though, is not just a change of scenery, and Seconds, for all its thriller aspects, contains some sad and disturbing meditations on the way we make our own prisons. Director John Frankenheimer uses skewed angles, bizarre close-ups, and fisheye lenses to underscore the film’s off-kilter tension. —Ali Davis
Born in New York and raised in Queens, John Frankenheimer wanted to become a professional tennis player. He loved movies and his favorite actor was Robert Mitchum. He decided he wanted to be an actor but then he applied for and was accepted in the Motion Picture Squadron of the Air Force where he realized his natural talent to handle a camera. After his military discharge he began a TV career in 1953 convincing CBS to hire him as an assistant director, which consisted mainly working as a cameraman at that time. He eventually started to direct the show he was working on as an assistant director. Frankenheimer still didn’t want to direct films. He liked to direct live television, and he would have continued to do it if the profession itself hadn’t cease to exist. He first turned to the big screen with The Young Stranger (1957) which he hated to do because he thought he didn’t understand movies and wasn’t used to work with only one camera. Disappointed with his first feature film experience… read more
Chilling.This has stayed with me since I saw it a week or so ago. It felt impressively and surprisingly modern for a film almost 50 years old. The tone and pacing take a turn I wasn't expecting, I kind of want to watch it again. Amazing cinematography. I have a feeling this one will grow in my estimation.
Cynical, horrifying, and scary critique of the "American Dream" with a performance by Rock Hudson that proves he isn't just an actor for melodramas. Not only is the cinematography by Howe standout but the terrifying & logical ending stays with you long after the lights go out and the cranial drill starts up.
It was actually Frankenheimer's The Manchurian Candidate that really got me watching movies in the first place, but for some reason I had not seen another one of his movies until last night. Seconds was the perfect second. A middle-aged banker Alexander Hamilton receives mysterious phone calls from a friend who is supposed to be long-dead offering to him the opportunity of a lifetime: complete freedom. Hamilton is lured into the offices of a cryptic corporation whose only service is to "re-birth" people. His death is faked, extensive surgery conducted, and a new identity constructed for Hamilton. After all is said and done he re-emerges as Tony Wilson (now played by an aging, but still suave Rock Hudson), and is shipped off to California to participate in a wild life of swingin' parties and orgies in the woods. But changing one's outward appearance does not mean one has necessarily changed, and soon Alex now Tony finds himself caught up in an existential crisis, as well as a possibly deadly dilemma. Seconds is a bizarre, twisting, and smart thriller, but is also very much of its era. But there is something endlessly fascinating about it. At times it recalls Teshigahara's The Face of Another, especially in Frankenheimer's use of widescreen black and white compositions. Definitely worth checking out.
Not only is it a superbly well-written story, the photography is fantastic. The performances, although a little on the melodramatic side, work so well that by the end you get the feeling you have watched career performances from many of the actors. Definitely one of the best psychological thrillers I have ever seen. Also for fans of the Twilight Zone, Outer Limits, etc.
Um dos filmes mais subvalorizados dos anos 60, a par de Shock Corridor e The Naked Kiss. Mas a essas andanças já o pobre Fuller estava habituado.
Para além de todo aquele movimento de câmara… read review