SEC­ONDS New Faces

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Re­views -

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.

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