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4.1
1,357 Ratings

Seconds

Directed by John Frankenheimer
United States, 1966
Drama, Horror, Mystery

Synopsis

An unhappy middle-aged banker agrees to a procedure that will fake his death and give him a completely new look and identity – one that comes with its own price.

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Seconds Directed by John Frankenheimer

Awards & Festivals

Academy Awards

1967 | Nominee: Best Cinematography, Black-and-White

National Film Preservation Board

2015 | Winner: National Film Registry

Saul Bass’s opening-credit sequence establishes the thematic implications of Seconds’s sci-fi premise, with images of parts of the human face stretched in and out visually suggesting the elasticity of identity Arthur Hamilton (John Randolph) experiences when he undergoes a daring operation that turns him into Antiochus Wilson (Rock Hudson). But it’s the psychological details that give Frankenheimer’s masterpiece its devastating power.
March 02, 2016
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Pricklingly original from Saul Bass’s face-contortion credit sequence onwards, the film owes much of its impact to James Wong Howe’s expressive deep-focused camerawork and optical distortions, which bend and fracture key scenes in an impermeably unsettling fashion.
November 27, 2015
The summit of Frankenheimer’s Sixties unease, dreams of freedom laid bare as links in corporate chains, all pivoting on a magnificently self-reflexive performance from a synthetic superstar [Rock Hudson] who understood secret lives. (“My beard itches under my mask,” says Vanished Man in Teshigahara’s concurrent The Face of Another.)
August 19, 2013
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