SECONDS New Faces
released oUT NoW! 1966 | 15 | blu-ray/dvd (dual format)
Director John Frankenheimer
Cast rock Hudson, salome Jens,
John randolph, Will Geer, Jeff Corey
Another masterful exercise in paranoia from the director of The Manchurian Candidate, Seconds places the male midlife crisis at the centre of a Kafkaesque nightmare.
John Randolph plays unfulfilled banker Arthur Hamilton… until the character’s reborn in the shape of matinee idol Rock Hudson, after Hamilton turns to a secret organisation to give him a new life via radical plastic surgery.
Both an achingly sad personal story and a thriller that grips hard all the way to its haunting, gut-punch finale, Seconds interrogates the middle-aged fantasy of escape to a care-free, Dionysian existence, and warns us to be careful what we wish for. Hudson is particularly excellent, his diffident body language selling the illusion that both he and Randolph are playing the same man.
The real star of the show, however, is the crisp black-andwhite cinematography of James Wong Howe, whose off-kilter angles and innovative use of Steadicam-predating harnesses are thrillingly, giddily disconcerting.
Extras A 2002 commentary by Frankenheimer, plus a new one by a film scholar; Kim Newman discussing the film; a trailer; a booklet. Ian Berriman
Seconds freaked out Beach Boy Brian Wilson so badly that he didn’t go to the cinema again until ET in 1982.
The triplets couldn’t get enough windows.