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Seconds (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]

49 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Actors: Rock Hudson, Salome Jens
  • Directors: John Frankenheimer
  • Format: Black & White, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region A/1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: R
  • Studio: Criterion
  • Release Date: Aug. 13 2013
  • Run Time: 106 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #34,070 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)
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Product Description

Product Description

rock hudson (all that heaven allows) is a revelation in this sinister, science-fiction-inflected dispatch from the fractured 1960s. Seconds, directed by john frankenheimer (the manchurian candidate), concerns a middle-aged businessman dissatisfied with his suburban existence, who elects to undergo a strange and elaborate procedure that will grant him a new life. Starting over in america, however, is not as easy as it sounds. This paranoiac symphony of canted camera angles (courtesy of famed cinematographer james wong howe), fragmented editing, and layered sound design is a remarkably risk-taking hollywood film that ranks high on the list of its legendary director�s major achievements. Special edition features � new 4k digital film restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the blu-ray edition � audio commentary featuring director john frankenheimer � actor alec baldwin on frankenheimer and seconds � new program on the making of seconds, featuring interviews with evans frankenheimer, the director�s widow, and actor salome jens � interview with frankenheimer from 1971 � new visual essay by film scholars r. Barton palmer and murray pomerance � plus: an essay by critic david sterritt //

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, and Rock Hudson gives a performance that is light-years removed from Pillow Talk. Well worth watching twice. --Ali Davis --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Adam Bernstein on Dec 25 2003
Format: VHS Tape
Seconds is probably the trippiest film you're likely to see. It stars Rock Hudson as Tony, a "reborn" of John Randolph (one of the actors blacklisted under McCarthy). It's ostensibly about this guy in a midlife crisis who is forced into this super secret organization that creates second lives for people by giving them new identities. This film hit so close to home for Rock he nearly broke down during filming.
At first glance the second chance at life looks great. A new identity, a house on the beach, and a beautiful new girlfriend in the seemingly hippyish Nora (Salome Jens). Then things go downhill and into a nightmarish realm. Really the whole film is a surreal nightmare, from the meat packing district to Randolph being drugged to out-of-proportion camera lenses and strange angles. And especially inside the reborn offices; what happens there is utterly otherworldly. Filmed in black and white this captures an experiment in surrealism that a major director wouldn't dare attempt today. And like all great '60s films this has a '60s feel and atmosphere to it. Especially when Nora and Tony go to a hippy festival, though Tony feels out of place there; after all he was formerly a square banker.
When Beach Boy Brian Wilson saw this film when it was released in 1966 he literally went insane. He believed Phil Spector was beaming him secret messages through the film to sabotage his career (the main character's last name was Wilson which may have added to his paranoia). But for a relatively healthy viewer it won't drive you insane...but it'll definitely have an effect on you.
If one had to pin down what this film is a metaphor for, it would have to be the old alienation of modern society theme, but here with an intense sci-fi-like twist. A must for all Frankenheimer fans, Rock Hudson fans, and/or '60s afficionados.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By B. Brown on Feb. 8 2004
Format: DVD
Perhaps the most unknown and under appreciated American film of all time. John Frankenheimer at his edgiest and most paranoid. Rock Hudson is brilliantly cast as the young reincarnation of a middle-aged man who under goes surgery to regain his youth. A film truly ahead of its time and an inspiration to filmmakers everywhere. Story is told brilliantly with some of the most inventive camera work ever!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Henry Sum on Feb. 11 2012
Format: DVD
Though still listed in Leonard Maltin's 2006 Movie Guide, by his 2011 edition, John Frankenheimer's 1966 film classic "SECONDS" is missing altogether. Why?! How come?! Something is terribly wrong with Mr Maltin's judgment here. It has been my experience in the last few years that there have been other very mysteriously missing components to Links, YouTube Sites and Movies. It was dismaying once again to discover a truncated ending to John Frankenheimer's 1966 production of "SECONDS". As the very brusque Dr Morris (Karl Swenson) laments over the head of the heavily tranquilized "Tony Wilson" (Rock Hudson)--"You were one of my finest creations"--then directs an enormous power-drill into the "lower lobotomal portion" of his skull; the next parting scene to the whole movie depicts a dream-like memory of a father and son silhouetted on a beach. What is wholly missing in my recently acquired DVD version of the movie is the child crying out for a balloon which has slipped from his fingers. This balloon ties in to the memory regression tape recordings administered upon Tony Wilson by perhaps the most diabolical of almost all supporting cast actors ever introduced in movies: Khigh Dhiegh. Portraying the "Reborns" Company psychiatrist, "Davalo", he plays for the newly operated upon Tony some tape recordings of Tony in tranquilized regression speaking about his early desires and ambitions. The first recording which Davalo plays and dismisses as too early in Tony's life has him reminiscing about "wanting a red balloon". Apart from a following reminiscence about wishing to be a tennis pro and watercolorist, it is this early childhood desire for a balloon in the original sketchy ending which may have been have been one of the happiest events in Tony's life.Read more ›
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Echo on Aug. 20 2003
Format: DVD
Without question, "Seconds" is a disturbing and unique film. It's odd, unclassifiable, and not easily forgettable. It is also one of the few films that will upset you with each subsequent viewing. The passing of John Hamilton gives me pause to reflect on this underrated films - one of the best dramas of the mid-1960s, and one of the best psychological thrillers ever put to film.
John Randolph is Arthur Hamilton, a man haunted by the thought of life passing him by. Arthur is brought to a strange agency, and is given a unique opportunity: the agency will erase Arthur's old persona via a convenient faked death, perform plastic surgery, and give him a new life as a "second". Rock Hudson plays Tony Wilson, his post-surgery "second" persona. In his new "second" identity, Tony learns that a new body and new identity don't address his need for individuality. Tony never lets go of his supreme self-centeredness, which eventually leads to his downfall.
The film settles in the pit of your stomach with several strange and unsettling scenes. At the agency, he meets a friend who has something on his mind...he seems very intent that Arthur adopts a "second" identity. When Tony awakes from surgery he is bandaged, and is told not to talk because his teeth have been removed. As he recovers, he is given a strange personality and occupational aptitude battery (I have never trusted these after seeing this movie!) Eventually After having too much to drink, he realizes all of his friends are fellow "seconds". Tony visits his wife, who think's he's dead. The gravity of Arthur/Tony's choice is clear; he can never go back. Eventually Tony returns to the agency, and is asked to suggest fellow clients...he never realizes the danger of not ponying up a new candidate. And the final scene...
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