Archive for September 13th, 2016


by John Greco

The biggest problem John Frankenheimer’s 1966 movie Seconds had at the time of its original release was having Rock Hudson in the lead role. Hudson was still a huge star (he was one of the top 10 most popular stars from 1957 to 1964), however, his fans were not interested in seeing him in such a dark science fiction/psychological film, and filmgoers for this type of film were not going to see a “Rock Hudson movie.” The results? Seconds died a quick death at the box office. In retrospect, while Hudson was no Robert De Niro he does gives one of the best performances of his career in a film unlike anything he ever did before or after. Frankenheimer had been on a roll since the beginning of the 1960’s. In the previous five years, he made The Young Savages, All Fall Down, Birdman of Alcatraz, The Manchurian Candidate, Seven Days in May and The Train followed by Seconds, though he would soon embark on a more erratic course from which he would not recuperate from until the 1990’s with a series of excellent TV movies.

Man is never satisfied with who he is or what he has in his life. What if your family life had lost its purpose? Your job had lost all meaning, and your entire life was one big disappointment? What if you were given the chance to change your life, erase it all and start all over again?  What if you could live the life you have only dreamed about?  For Arthur Hamilton (John Randolph) this chance happens when he meets an old friend, presumed to have died year’s earlier, who arranges a meeting that puts Arthur in contact with a secret group only known as “The Company.” The Company offers wealthy bored individuals a chance at a completely new and revitalized life. They will fake Arthur’s death, provide extreme plastic surgery and give him a completely new identity. In Arthur’s case, as an artist known as Tony Wilson (Rock Hudson).  (more…)

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