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Seconds (1966)



Average Rating: 8.3/10
Reviews Counted: 30
Fresh: 27 | Rotten: 3

Featuring dazzling, disorienting cinematography from the great James Wong Howe and a strong lead performance by Rock Hudson, Seconds is a compellingly paranoid take on the legend of Faust.

No Score Yet...

Average Rating: N/A
Critic Reviews: 3
Fresh: 2 | Rotten: 1

Featuring dazzling, disorienting cinematography from the great James Wong Howe and a strong lead performance by Rock Hudson, Seconds is a compellingly paranoid take on the legend of Faust.



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Average Rating: 4/5
User Ratings: 4,017

My Rating

Movie Info

Arthur Hamilton (John Randolph) is a listless Manhattan businessman who lives with his wife in the New York suburbs. One day, he runs into an old friend (Murray Hamilton) whom he thought had died. The friend leads him to The Company, a secretive operation run by The Old Man (Will Geer). The Company is a high-tech service which, for a price, provides older men with plastic surgery, a beefed-up body, and a fresh start in life. To cover the "disappearance," a middle-aged male cadaver is "killed" in

Jan 8, 2002

Paramount Pictures

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All Critics (31) | Top Critics (3) | Fresh (27) | Rotten (3) | DVD (11)

US suburbia boredom is treated in an original manner in this cross between a sci-fi opus, a thriller, a suspense pic and a parable on certain aspects of American middle-class life.

September 23, 2007 Full Review Source: Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The screenplay ollapses into musty moralizing in the second half, and director John Frankenheimer throws in the towel.

May 29, 2007 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Little wonder it flopped at the time, only to be cherished by a later generation.

February 9, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

[C]hange comes only before the cradle and after the grave ... consumerism processes identity until it's oversold.

December 2, 2013 Full Review Source: Film International
Film International

A fun house mirror world that never looks quite right because it never is, and never was.

September 9, 2013 Full Review Source: Movie Metropolis
Movie Metropolis

A bleak and noirish Frankenstein thriller whose DNA is threaded with zeitgeist-heavy satire.

August 30, 2013 Full Review Source: PopMatters

The summit of Frankenheimer's Sixties unease

August 18, 2013 Full Review Source: CinePassion

Frankenheimer fashioned a trippy motion picture that was clearly ahead of its time, even if just by a few years (the 1970s would be crammed with post-Watergate paranoia pictures such as The Parallax View and Three Days of the Condor).

August 17, 2013 Full Review Source: Creative Loafing
Creative Loafing

From the opening-credits sequence, Seconds mangles and distends the windows of perception until viewers get immersed in [Arthur's] sweat-soaked nightmare.

August 13, 2013 Full Review Source: The Dissolve
The Dissolve

No other film I've seen quite captures the feeling of being trapped like Seconds does. Frankenheimer puts it all together with splintered editing that is as bold as it is disorienting.

August 9, 2013 Full Review Source:

Creepy, Twilight Zone-type tale starring Rock Hudson, directed by John Frankenheimer.

March 2, 2008

The film features a surprisingly good performance by Rock Hudson, an impeccable supporting cast and stunning cinematography by screen veteran James Wong Howe.

May 29, 2007 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Frankenheimer directed, but cinematographer James Wong Howe set the tone and provided whatever's memorable. Which isn't much.

June 26, 2004

Never has Oscar Wilde's caveat about being careful what you wish for been so chillingly portrayed.

May 23, 2004 Full Review Source: Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

Features some great technical credits, with rich black-and-white cinematography and deep-focus from James Wong Howe.

March 9, 2004 Full Review Source: Sci-Fi Movie Page
Sci-Fi Movie Page

Gets under your skin like a nightmare.

December 12, 2003 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews | Comment (1)
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Criminally underseen sci-fi masterpiece.

June 2, 2003
Montreal Film Journal

...a progressively tedious piece of work...

February 10, 2003 Full Review Source: Reel Film Reviews
Reel Film Reviews

An ultimately terrifying thriller ... featuring Rock Hudson's lone great performance.

September 27, 2002
Lawrence Journal-World

spins an intriguing web for the first half, then slowly slackens to the point of near absurdity before tightening for a crackerjack ending that is as horrifying as it is logical

January 22, 2002 Full Review Source: Q Network Film Desk
Q Network Film Desk

Audience Reviews for Seconds

A great atmospheric psychological thriller in the vain of Orson Welles' The Trail. Also features the first use of the Snori-Cam (to the best of my knowledge)
July 14, 2011

Super Reviewer

This movie's plot reminds me of so many other movies I've seen more recently, I wondered if this was were they got their ideas? I hope not, this movie was terribly boring and slow. I did not like it.
December 7, 2010

Super Reviewer

Riveting suspense thriller about a middle-aged man who takes the opportunity to exchange his mediocre humdrum life for something supposedly better. The best moral for this story would be "Be careful of what you ask for. "

This film, starring Rock Hudson in a performance I didn't think he had in him, has me glued to the screen from the first frame. The film was made in a beautfiul B&W. The intro and titles involve a great deal of distorted and disorienting photography, courtesy of cinematography great James Wong Howe, enhanced by a driving, dramatic score by Jerry Goldsmith. This score tells you that there is nothing light-hearted about what's coming up.

Director John Frankenheimer did a marvelous job at moving the story along so that you never wanted to look away. I remember being surprised when the film was over because It seemed a lot shorter than its 1:46 running time.The film starts with a mystery already in the making, in that the main character has already been unnerved by a sinister phone call. And if I never remember another thing about this film, the Twilight Zone-style final frames at the end of the film will haunt me forever. I'm usually not one to pick up on director style, but this film reminded me visually of The Manchurian Candidate so much that I would know Frankenheimer's work if he did a dog food commercial.

The wildest thing about this film is how relevant it seems in this day and age . The theme of the film -- getting away from your old life, having all responsibilities and demands disappear, and to be installed into your dream career without any effort on your part -- sounds like the perfect solution for many people these days. But I think the lesson here would be over the heads of most of those same people.

I'm surprised that this film hasn't been remade, although there is no reason for it to be. I can see a mediocre, high-octane version of this done with Arnold Schwarzenegger in the Rock Hudson role. I hope no powers-that-be see this post; we will have that very thing inflicted on us as a big-budget summer movie. I shudder to think...
July 27, 2010

Super Reviewer

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