Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Greg Goodsell

8/26/2013 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Rock Hudson chiller about mid-life crisis and identity resonates more with current audience

An unmitigated flop when it was first released, its director John Frankenheimer recalls the reception his science-fiction chiller "Seconds" when it was first released. "People would call the movie theater to ask what time it was playing. Theater owners would say, 'just come over to the theater and we'll play it for you!'" Frankenheimer laughed. In 2013, "Second's" story about mid-life crisis, plastic surgery, identity - as played by romantic male lead Rock Hudson, then trying to hide his homosexuality - is more relevant than ever. The film is getting a new lease on life with its Blu-Ray release.

In a perverse reversal, matinee idol Rock Hudson has his movie star mug swathed in bandages, while the leader of the secret plastic surgery foundation that rejuvenates looks is played by the elderly Will Greer - who is clearly NOT a client of his company's services!

In a perverse reversal, matinee idol Rock Hudson has his movie star mug swathed in bandages, while the leader of the secret plastic surgery foundation that rejuvenates looks is played by the elderly Will Greer - who is clearly NOT a client of his company's services!

Highlights

By Greg Goodsell

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

8/26/2013 (1 year ago)

Published in Movies

Keywords: Seconds, John Frankenheimer, mid-life crisis, plastic surgery, film, Rock Hudson


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Warranting the Criterion Collection treatment, many feel this is long-awaited justice for an obscure masterpiece.

Director Frankenheimer was at the height of his fame in 1966. The young director of such classics as "The Manchurian Candidate," "Seven Days in May" and "The Train," Frankenheimer recruited Hollywood heavyweights such as photographer James Wong Howe and Hudson for "Seconds." How could it miss?

As Frankenheimer puts it, "Seconds" went from failure to classic without ever becoming a success. The reason was simple: art-house crowds were loathe to see a picture starring Hudson, often cast alongside Doris Day, and housewives who adored Hudson were unprepared for a film with shocking amounts of gore, nudity and existential angst.   

The story is simple as a bad dream: Arthur Hamilton (John Randolph) is a bored, 50-year-old New York banker in a loveless marriage. He is encouraged by a mysterious organization to assume the identity of the artist Antiochus Wilson (Hudson) after extensive plastic surgery and a faked death.

Resettled in Malibu, California, he appears to find true love with Nora Marcus (Salome Jens). However, drunk at a party, Hudson blurts out that he is a "Second." This doesn't sit well with the other party guests - as they too, are other "Seconds" sworn to secrecy! The situation spirals out of control from there.   

A classic scene has the "widow" of Hamilton (Frances Reid) paying a visit to Hudson, and unknowingly nails her husband in not so many words: "He fought for what he was taught to want, and once he had it, he didn't know what to do with it."

Science-fiction author Harlan Ellison called "Seconds" the greatest science-fiction film of all time, saying its truths were stark: "You can't escape who you are ."

Part science fiction, part thriller, part horror, part film noir, part black comedy, "Seconds" is being hailed as a period piece that is more contemporary than ever.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for June 2015
Universal:
That immigrants and refugees may find welcome and respect in the countries to which they come.
Evangelization: That the personal encounter with Jesus may arouse in many young people the desire to offer their own lives in priesthood or consecrated life.


Rosaries, Crosses, Prayer Cards and more... by Catholic Shopping .com


Comments


More Movies

The top 5 Pixar movies from the last 20 years Watch

Image of

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Over the years, Pixar has created fourteen amazing animated films that people love and relate to. This year, they released the anticipated film, "Inside Out," featuring fictional characters from inside the human body and mind. MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) ... continue reading


'The Peanuts Movie' trailer is out! Can Charlie Brown become a winner and get the girl? Watch

Image of

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In commemoration of the 65th anniversary of the epic comic strip, a 3D movie of The Peanuts will enter theaters by November this year. The trailer shows the iconic characters Charlie Brown and his ever loyal dog, Snoopy, in a quest for the kid's winning identity, as ... continue reading


4 MUST-SEE classic films to enhance the faith in your teenager Watch

Image of Saving Private Ryan (1998) offers one of the most important messages on courage and sacrifice.

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A lot of movies have been released over time and with the advance technology we enjoy today, a variety of formats are easily created. However, although most movies are done with exemplary greatness utilizing animations and other effects to produce a more realistic ... continue reading


Moviegoers get their 'Dino' on with 'Jurassic World' with $204 To $207 million weekend opening Watch

Image of There's no argument that

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It seems that more than just little boys love dinosaurs. "Jurassic World," the latest film entry about thunder lizards roaring into the present day has raked in anywhere from $204 to $207 million for its opening weekend. It could very well beat the all-time ... continue reading


Trailer for 'Mockingjay - Part 2' released, shows Capitol under siege Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Fan excitement is growing with the release of the trailer for the final chapter of "The Hunger Games" trilogy. In the trailer released this week, hero Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) returns to the Capitol in "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2," with ... continue reading


'San Andreas' inspires morbid curiosity in disaster-prone states, making it top at box office Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It's a given that the 21st Century disaster film "San Andreas" isn't any good. Loud and noisy, it inspires little interest in its cliché characters trying to survive a double-whammy quake in California. It comes as a surprise that it did relatively well, ... continue reading


Does disaster film 'San Andreas' prophesize the destruction of California? Watch

Image of The likelihood of a magnitude 8 or larger earthquake in the next 30 years has risen from about 4.7 percent to around seven percent.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

They say everyone enjoys an apocalyptic future, as they require nothing from us. Overall, audiences have bypassed the hopeful, utopian "Tomorrowland" for "Mad Max Fury Road" and now "San Andreas," which depicts the destruction of California by a series of ... continue reading


What are filmmakers getting wrong with Bible-based movies? The universal story may not be so universal Watch

Image of

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Hollywood has released a lot of movies centered on Christianity and the Bible's stories during 2014. Some of them were well-received by Christians and even film critics, while some of the movies received negative, cold responses, especially from those who subscribe to ... continue reading


Filmmakers of 'Little Boy' receive mixed reviews -- audience approves, film critics are not convince Watch

Image of Little Boy is a movie about a young boy desperate to bring his father home for WWII.

By Atarah Haely (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Rotten Tomatoes gave the newly released movie, "Little Boy" a low rating, viewing it as rather unconvincing for fans, the filmmakers and some of the professional film critics. MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - However, the movie was given positive approval ... continue reading


New 'Star Wars' trailer features plenty of surprises for fans Watch

Image of John Boyega, who left a lasting impression as the hero in the 2011 British horror film,

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

"The force - is back," and the new trailer in the "Stars Wars" installment, "Star Wars: Episode VII -- The Force Awakens" packs quite a few surprises. Due to hit theaters during Christmas this year, the trailer's unveiling was attended by many actors in the ... continue reading


All Movies News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Genesis 28:10-22
10 Jacob left Beersheba and set out for ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 91:1-2, 3-4, 14-15
1 You who live in the secret place of Elyon, spend ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 9:18-26
18 While he was speaking to them, suddenly one of the ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for July 6th, 2015 Image

St. Maria Goretti
July 6: Born in Corinaldo, Ancona, Italy, on October 16 1890; her ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter