John Frankenheimer’s criminally underseen sci-fi classic SECONDS is a prime example of the director’s ability to weave an emotionally complex and visually stunning genre film with minimal need for pomp-and-brass of spectacle.
Banker Arthur Hamilton (played by John Randolph) leads a fairly average life until a call from a presumed-dead friend turns his reality upside down. Informed that the friend faked his death with the help of a company that provides an entirely new face and life to its clientele, it’s not long before Arthur undergoes the same procedure to transform into Tony Wilson (an astounding and brilliant Rock Hudson), an artist who lives in Malibu. However, he’ll soon learn the true cost of this seemingly miraculous transformation and will have to fight for survival in a way he could never have seen coming.
Both a perfect companion piece to POSSESSOR and an unforgettable experience all its own, SECONDS was much maligned upon initial release in 1966, only to take its rightful place in the canon of sci-fi greats years later after astute reassessment. Be sure to take this opportunity to join Beyond Fest in celebrating the brilliance of Frankenheimer at a screening that’ll have you questioning the very DNA of your own identity.
Director: John Frankenheimer
Mission Tiki Drive-In Theatre