Seconds

1966, Movie, NR, 106 mins

Review

SECONDS
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Middle-aged New York businessman Arthur Hamilton (John Randolph) is blackmailed into accepting the services of a clandestine organization which provides paunchy middle-aged businessmen with new lives through plastic surgery, physical reconditioning and reckless career placement. The end result is that Arthur Hamilton is transformed into Tony Wilson (Rock Hudson), a swinging bachelor and abstract painter with a groovy pad by the California seashore, a girlfriend (Salome Jens), and a butler (Wesley Addy) who is unusually anxious for his boss to indulge in heavy partying activities. Unfortunately, Tony Wilson still acts a lot like Arthur Hamilton: he can't hold his liquor and he's afraid of girls. After hosting a disastrous cocktail party for some of his neighbors, Wilson is shipped back to corporate headquarters for some fine tuning. He's willing to give it another try and has some thoughtful suggestions for his next "placement" and for the future of the program. The Old Man (Will Geer), the founder of the organization that got him into this mess in the first place, is appreciative, but nonetheless has other ideas for the body of Tony Wilson and the soul of Arthur Hamilton.

SECONDS received mixed reviews, and was critically savaged at the Cannes Film Festival, but repeated showings on late night television have improved its reputation to the point where it is now considered a cult classic. The film features a surprisingly good performance by Rock Hudson, an impeccable supporting cast and stunning cinematography by screen veteran James Wong Howe. leave a comment

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