Request: SECONDS

I'd love to hear a discussion about Frankenheimer's 1966 scifi parable. I really think it's up there with Blow Out as a fascinating story told impeccably in its ideal medium. I really love its glass-half-empty way of presenting a daydream fantasy as a worst-case-scenario. It's totally Twilight Zone-y wish fulfillment, but, like, the best possible version of that as a fucking John Frankenheimer movie, with jaw-dropping photography by James Wong Howe and a breathtakingly understated Rock Hudson performance (that actually sells the idea that Rock Hudson could have the worst time & least friends at a party) and Will Geer's "Old Man" is probably the most effective plot-device performance I've ever seen - his early scene with John Randolph is completely crushing work from everybody involved, and his closer with Hudson is so brutal. Again, he's credited as "Old Man," and wears a straw hat, and I have those things to say about his performance. I think Seconds is so great because it has the candor & capability to really work as a genre exercise on its surface level, before the stuff underneath even starts to keep you awake at night. Those scenes with Geer have serious emotional resonance, yet they're not asides, they serve and thicken the plot. All this with the sound design of a terrifying horror movie and Jerry Goldsmith's equal-parts-scary-and-heartbreaking gem of a score

I dunno, man, I could go on. I honestly think Seconds is one of the best movies I've ever seen. It's easily my favorite Frankenheimer movie and I'd love to see it pulled from the shadows of his other work. It's one of those movies that kind of ruins like ten other movies you thought were great before you realized they were derivative of this one. It's scary and sad yet also very funny, and it only gets better every time I rewatch it.

...Also, the mayor from Jaws is in it. That's cool.

Anyway, it's available for digital rental & I think it deserves a shot at The Canon. Thanks!

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84 replies

Amazon's algorithm's have been suggesting this movie to me for a long time. If it's anything like the Twilight Zone I'm sold. Guess it's finally time to give it a shot.

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