Seconds

Seconds

4.5 4
Director: John Frankenheimer, Rock Hudson, Salome Jens, John Randolph

Cast: John Frankenheimer, Rock Hudson, Salome Jens, John Randolph

     
 

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Director John Frankenheimer's psychological thriller Seconds was groundbreaking in a number of ways, not the least of which was brief nudity in a mainstream movie and the casting of several actors who had been blacklisted by the Hollywood establishment for supposed Communist activities. Not to mention the casting of star Rock Hudson in a role that depicted him

Overview

Director John Frankenheimer's psychological thriller Seconds was groundbreaking in a number of ways, not the least of which was brief nudity in a mainstream movie and the casting of several actors who had been blacklisted by the Hollywood establishment for supposed Communist activities. Not to mention the casting of star Rock Hudson in a role that depicted him as anything but a cinema sex idol. Frankenheimer points out all of this and much more in his generous commentary on the DVD's alternate audio track, wherein he also explains how he and his crew achieved the eerie effects (some of the sets were built with trompe l'oeil distortions). The man seems to have recalled every shot in the film. The anamorphic 1.85:1 image is a vast improvement over the VHS pan-and-scan version as the composition of the photography, as Frankenheimer points out, relies on extreme depth of field and wide angles to subliminally intensify the dialogue; the digital transfer adequately highlights the dramatic whites and grays of the lighting scheme (although, apparently, little could be done to sharpen the bizarre bacchanalia sequence). The disc includes the theatrical trailer, but it's missing the photo gallery that Frankenheimer references that would have shown a picture as to how the actors were mounted with cameras in order to get the film's unsettling tracking shots.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Mark Deming
Given what we now know about Rock Hudson's personal life, it would be easy to read a great deal into his performance in Seconds; his work as a tortured man living a lie that he willingly allowed others to create for him may well be the best and most deeply felt acting of his career. But to view Seconds as a film about Rock Hudson is to underrate and misinterpret one of the most original thrillers of the 1960s. Just as America's obsession with youth culture was about to shift into overdrive, Seconds offered a potent warning about the desire to be young at all costs, and few movies have ever offered a more interesting (and more literal) spin on the notion that "You can't run away from yourself." Director John Frankenheimer brings a brooding and kinetic tension to the proceedings that seems ahead of its time for 1966 (and still feels potent today), while James Wong Howe's masterful camerawork is rich and crisply detailed when it needs to be, and superbly disorienting when the story is at its most bizarre. In the decade in which angst finally made its way to the surface of American popular culture, few other movies were as full of dread as Seconds, which looked into the dark and frightening heart of human identity and the American mindset and found it fascinating and bleakly funny.

Product Details

Release Date:
01/08/2002
UPC:
0097361569147
Original Release:
1966
Rating:
R
Source:
Paramount
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[B&W, Wide Screen]
Sound:
[Dolby Digital, monaural]
Time:
1:47:00

Special Features

Widescreen version enhanced for 16:9 TVs; Dolby Digital: English mono; French mono; English subtitles; Interactive menus; Scene selection; Theatrical trailer; Commentary by director John Frankenheimer

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Rock Hudson Antiochus "Tony" Wilson
Salome Jens Norma Marcus
John Randolph Arthur Hamilton
Will Geer Boss
Jeff Corey Mr. Ruby
Richard Anderson Dr. Innes
Murray Hamilton Charlie Evans
Elisabeth Fraser Plump Blonde
François Ruggieri Girl in Boudoir
Thom Conroy Dayroom Attendant
William Wintersole Operating Room Doctor
Frank Campanella Man in Station
Frances Reid Emily Hamilton
Barbara Werle Secretary
Edgar Stehli Tailor Shop Presser
Khigh Dhiegh Davalo
Wesley Addy John
Ned Young Henry Bushman
Dody Heath She Bushman
Robert Brubaker Mayberry
Dorothy Morris Mrs. Filter
Karl Swenson Dr. Morris
John Lawrence Texan

Technical Credits
John Frankenheimer Director
John P. Austin Set Decoration/Design
Lewis John Carlino Screenwriter
Edward Lewis Producer
Jerry Goldsmith Score Composer
Edward S. Haworth Art Director
James Wong Howe Cinematographer
Jack Petty Makeup
Mark Reedall Makeup
David Webster Editor
Ferris Webster Editor

Scene Index

Side #1 --
0. Scene Selection
1. The Train to Scarsdale [6:34]
2. Charlie [2:13]
3. 34 Lafayette Street [4:29]
4. Easier to Go Forward [:44]
5. Masterpiece [6:15]
6. Welcome Home [3:19]
7. Nora [3:17]
8. Turning the Key [8:19]
9. The Neighbors [:24]
10. Momento [6:15]
11. Begin Again [2:23]
12. The Next Stage [5:04]

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Seconds 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The first "Extreme Make-Over" with all the implied desire to start one's life over and the problems associated with doing so. Rock Hudson was great even though this role was very untypical for him at the time. His last scenes in the movie will stay with you. I would describe this movie as: eery, haunting, under-spoken, creepy, believable, depressing, well written, and well acted. The movie is also very well shot and more easily appreciated when Frankenheimer's commentary is listened to.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I'm not an inveterate movie-watcher, and I like the DVD format of most films so I can hop around and watch the parts that interest me. "Seconds" demands a different approach to experiencing it. It's moody, dark, and off-kilter in any number of ways, but you have to watch it straight through -- even the most cringe-worthy parts -- to really appreciate it. The real surprise is how nuanced Rock Hudson's performance plays. (If you're expecting the stalwart from "ice Station Zebra," think again.) There's really no other movie in my experience that speaks quite so well to issues like mid-life crisis, the illusion of control, and mid-Sixties paranoia about changing values and mores.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
I found this to be a very interesting movie which didn't get much applause at the time or much credit. It made you think and I would consider it to be a 'dark horse' or a 'sleeper'. I was never bored throughout the movie and the ending gave me chills. I would put this on par with 'Late for Dinner' which also didn't get much publicity or much deserved praise.