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 March 2015
Universal:
Scientists: That those involved in scientific research may serve the well-being of the whole human person.
Evangelization: Contribution of women: That the unique contribution of women to the life of the Church may be recognized always.


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


Comments


More Movies

Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, iTunes promise lots of entertainment for month of April Watch

Image of Streaming original content, such as the superhero film

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Spring is in the air and streaming movies, TV shows and specials will be here to greet the sunnier season. Streaming original content, such as the superhero film "Marvel's Daredevil" will be the month's main draws. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - From ... continue reading


Late actor Paul Walker lives again - thanks to digital technology Watch

Image of Universal Pictures was able to complete its April 3 tent pole,

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Actor Paul Walker, whose life was taken in a horrific traffic accident two years ago, will have the opportunity to live again - dying during the production of "Fast and Furious 7," Walker's scenes will be completed with digital technology. While this will ... continue reading


Luke Skywalker's home in 'Star Wars' invaded by ISIS Watch

Image of R2D2 and C3PO would probably feel out of place at the location that served as Tatooine in the original

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The desert planet of "Tatooine," Luke Skywalker's (Mark Hammill) home planet in the "Star Wars" series, was attacked and destroyed by storm troopers in the original installment of that science-fiction series. Art apparently imitated life, as the Tunisian location ... continue reading


For sure! Get your Eighties fix while you can before Netflix axes these movies in April! Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Like totally. For sure. Gnarly. Gag me with a spoon. If these phrases mean anything to you, you remember the Eighties and the many great movies from that era. If you are a Netflix subscriber, you had better hurry, as a bunch of your favorite films is headed for ... continue reading


How Sacrifice Changes Our Hearts Watch

Image of

By Caitlin Bootsma

One of the things I find so appealing about Lent is that we are not only called to contemplation, but also to action. Prayer, fasting and almsgiving are all equally important ways of uniting ourselves to Christ and offering our lives to Him. Through fasting and ... continue reading


Chinese motion picture box surprisingly beats Hollywood for very first time Watch

Image of Western actors such as Adrien Brody are being convinced to appear in films for Chinese audiences, as in the recent box office topper

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It makes sense that a nation with well over a billion people would need entertainment - and for the first time ever, the Chinese motion picture box office has overtaken America in terms of monthly sales. The nation of China brought in $650 million in box office ... continue reading


Harrison Ford returns to hunt down robots in 'Blade Runner' sequel Watch

Image of As Rick Deckard, Harrison Ford played an agent well versed in hunting down illegal artificial humans called replicants.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

While our expectations for having our own rocket ship in the 21st Century have been largely met with disappointment, the present is still considerably brighter than the one in the classic science-fiction epic "Blade Runner" in 1982. Congested cities, perpetual ... continue reading


Artistic, challenging 'Birdman' wins Best Picture at 87th Annual Academy Awards Watch

Image of A challenging allegorical fantasy concerning a screen actor's identity crisis,

By Greg Goodsell

It was an artistic, challenging film, which made demands on its viewer and depicted a most unflattering portrayal of the motion picture industry. "Birdman" took the Oscar for Best Picture anyway, at the 87th Academy Awards. "Birdman" beat out such favorites as ... continue reading


Bond likes them fast: actor Daniel Craig gets to drive amazing Aston Martin DB10 as 007 superspy Watch

Image of Looking forward to a weekend cruise in his new Aston Martin, Daniel Craig appears eager to slip into the role of James Bond in

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

"Spectre," the latest installment of the James Bond spy thriller series, kicked off with location shooting in Rome last week. Some Romans were lucky to witness a spectacular car chase along the banks of the Tiber River. James Bond, as played by Daniel Craig ... continue reading


How Anastasia Steele's fairytale in '50 Shades of Grey' would really end Watch

Image of

By Mary Rezac, CNA

Valentine's Day plans do not typically include domestic abuse. DENVER, CO (CNA) - Yet thousands of couples are already pre-purchasing their movie tickets for "50 Shades of Grey," a film which many critics are saying romanticizes and attempts to normalize violence ... 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, Ezekiel 37:21-28
21 say, "The Lord Yahweh says this: I shall take the ... Read More

Psalm, Jeremiah 31:10, 11-12, 13
10 Listen, nations, to the word of Yahweh. On the ... Read More

Gospel, John 11:45-57
45 Many of the Jews who had come to visit Mary, and ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for March 28th, 2015 Image

St. Venturino of Bergamo
March 28: Dominican preacher and missionary crusader. A native of Bergamo, ... 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