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Movie Details

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Directed By
John Frankenheimer

Written By:
Lewis John Carlino, David Ely

Rock Hudson, Salome Jens, John Randolph, Will Geer, Jeff Corey, Richard Anderson, Murray Hamilton, Karl Swenson, Wesley Addy, John Lawrence, Elisabeth Fraser, Dodie Heath, Dorothy Morris, Barbara Werle, Frank Campanella, Edgar Stehli, Thom Conroy, Nedrick Young, Khigh Dhiegh, Frances Reid, Robert Brubaker, Aaron Magidow, De De Young, Françoise Ruggieri, Kirk Duncan, William Wintersole

Seconds (1966)
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Movie Review by BillyBob
October 12th, 2010


You know, I thought that I would never say this - But the truth is - "I actually liked ROCK HUDSON in this movie." Yep-Yep. It's true. It does feel a bit weird saying something that I was sure I would never, ever admit. But, hey, there you have it!

I would like to point out that ROCK HUDSON's performance here in SECONDS certainly was a mighty rare exception compared to whatever else this guy has done in the past. I'd actually go so far as to confidently say that HUDSON's portrayal of character Tony Wilson was, by far, his most powerful and, yes, believable performance ever. (Hey! Like, Wow! I'm impressed!)

Filmed in glorious black and white, SECONDS is a unique Sci-Fi Thriller (from 1966) that plays out very much like a super-creepy episode of THE TWILIGHT ZONE. With a nicely balanced mix of horror, neo-noir, and even psychedelia thrown in for good measure, one can't help but be intrigued by this tres' unusual Drama.

As the story goes -

There is an organization, a highly-secret organization, in the USA called "The Company". This particular firm offers wealthy people a literal second chance in life.

"The Company" is, of course, absolutely unscrupulous in its operation tactics. Presently they have blackmailed aging business executive Arthur Hamilton (played by JOHN RANDOLPH) into signing on with them after showing him a career-wrecking film of himself savagely raping a young girl in a hotel room. Hamilton had committed this brutal act while under the influence of drugs that he had unknowingly ingested in food offered by "The Company". The girl in the film was actually an actress playing her part in this scheme.

Hamilton's death is carefully staged and then, through extensive plastic surgery and psychoanalysis, he is transformed into the youthful, handsome Tony Wilson (played by ROCK HUDSON).

Wilson is provided with a new home, new identity and new friends. He is moved from New York City to Malibu, California where he is already an established artist. Wilson's neighbors are all "reborns" just like himself, sent to keep a watchful eye on his adjustment to his new persona.

Things begin to go haywire when the disillusioned Wilson returns to "The Company" announcing that he wants to start again with yet another identity.

SECONDS is a truly remarkable piece of filmmaking. I guess because of the bizarre nature of its story it was not a popular film upon its initial release back in 1966. But, regardless of that, I guarantee you, SECONDS is definitely worth a view, if not for anything else, but, to see that stud-muffin, ROCK HUDSON, put in a credible and worthwhile performance for a change.

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