7.7/10
14,522
141 user 129 critic

Seconds (1966)

An unhappy middle-aged banker agrees to a procedure that will fake his death and give him a completely new look and identity - one that comes with its own price.

Director:

John Frankenheimer

Writers:

Lewis John Carlino (screenplay), David Ely (based on the novel by)

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Frank Campanella Frank Campanella ... Man in Station
John Randolph ... Arthur Hamilton
Frances Reid ... Emily Hamilton
Barbara Werle ... Secretary
Edgar Stehli Edgar Stehli ... Tailor Shop Presser
Aaron Magidow Aaron Magidow ... Meat Man
Dee Dee Young Dee Dee Young ... Nurse (as De De Young)
Françoise Ruggieri ... Girl in Boudoir
Murray Hamilton ... Charlie
Thom Conroy Thom Conroy ... Dayroom Attendant
Jeff Corey ... Mr. Ruby
Will Geer ... Old Man
Richard Anderson ... Dr. Innes
Rock Hudson ... Antiochus Wilson
Khigh Dhiegh ... Davalo
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Storyline

Middle-aged banker Arthur Hamilton is given the opportunity to start a completely new life when he receives calls from his old friend Charlie. The only problem is that Charlie is supposed to be dead. Hamilton is eventually introduced to a firm that will fake his death and create an entirely new look and life for him. After undergoing physical reconstruction surgery and months of training and psychotherapy, Hamilton returns to the world in the form of artist Tony Wilson. He has a nice house in Malibu and a manservant, a company employee who is there to assist him with his adjustment. He finds that the life he had hoped for isn't quite what he expected and asks the company to go through the process with surprising results. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Who are SECONDS? The answer is almost too terrifying for words. From the bold, bizarre best-seller. The story of a man who buys for himself a totally new life. A man who lives the age-old dream -- If only I could live my life all over again. See more »

Genres:

Sci-Fi | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

14 November 1966 (Brazil) See more »

Also Known As:

Der Mann, der zweimal lebte See more »

Filming Locations:

Malibu, California, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (re-release: 1996)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

"Seconds" has gained a cult status in later years and is frequently revived. According to director John Frankenheimer it's "the only movie, really, that's ever gone from failure to classic without ever having been a success." See more »

Goofs

When Tony is turned round to face the mirrors after having his bandages removed, part of the camera becomes visible in the middle one. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Man in Station: Mr. Hamilton?
Arthur Hamilton: Yes?
[Man in train station hands Hamilton a folded sheet of paper and turns to walk away; Hamilton stares after him, then opens the folded paper to find an address, with no explanation]
See more »

Alternate Versions

The re-released version in 1996 (originally debuting on laserdisc) restores various shots of nudity to the "orgy" sequence involving crushing wine grapes. This was how John Frankenheimer originally shot the scene but the MPAA refused to allow the nudity to pass so the theatrical release was re-edited to remove all nude shots. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Season X (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

That Old Black Magic
(1942) (uncredited)
Music by Harold Arlen
Lyrics by Johnny Mercer
Played at the party
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
If You Had A Choice
19 June 2007 | by thinker1691See all my reviews

During one's life, there comes a time when the wisdom accumulated during the early years does not serve to make a choice any easier in later life. There are not too many films which offer the viewer a choice to finish watching or not. When one is a youngster and watching a monster film, one can always run screaming from the theater if the scenes get frightening. That will be the reaction when you're watching this film. It starts easy enough when a middle-age man, John Randolph (Arthur Hamilton) decides to accept an offer to 'exchange' his given life, and trade it for a more youthful one. The transition is casual enough, but director John Frankenheimer, adroitly uses the Black and White images to lure not only the audience, but the subject into a false sense of security and tranquility. During the fantastic transformation from old John Randolph to youthful, handsome and attractive Antiochus 'Tony' Wilson, (Rock Hudson) he and the audience is gently beaconed and eased into the new, but alien life by a calm and compassionate guide, called the "Old Man. (Will Geer)" It's his job to ally the fears and reassure suspicions that 'everything is going to be alright.' The fact is the film is so tranquil, one hardly suspects the new life, unless the subject and the audience want to go home. John/Tony choose this option. The way back however is impossible, but only the audience is privy to it. The subject is removed from his 'second' life and given a quiet room, to collect his thoughts. It's here, the subject and the audience are once again joined by the Old Man, who will ease us not to the comfort of a New Life, but to make us aware that escape and the exit doors are twenty feet away. It's time to choose again, but you'd better hurry. The end is terrifying in it's finality. *****


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