Allendale Branch Library Presents SECONDS (1966) Film Screening and Discussion

Published : Monday, October 7, 2019 | 11:20 AM

The Allendale Branch Library presents a screening and discussion of Seconds, director John Frankenheimer’s sinister, subversive, science-fiction-inflected dispatch from the fractured 1960s, on Saturday, October 19, 2019 at 2:00 p.m., at 1130 S. Marengo Ave., Pasadena, California. Light refreshments will be served.

Described by one critic as “less a polemic than a punch to the sociopolitical solar plexus,” Seconds chronicles a middle-aged banker who, dissatisfied with his suburban existence, elects to undergo a strange and elaborate procedure that will grant him a new life. Rock Hudson, in the most chilling and risk-taking performance of his career, plays the leading role. “Rock’s performance in Seconds is really a credit to John Frankenheimer, who coerced him into taking the role,” screenwriter Lewis John Carlino recalled. “It was very dangerous for Rock to try that kind of role because there was such an audience identification with what he was and what he projected. Also, his fans had certain expectations about the kind of movies he usually appeared in.” While some critics considered Seconds a disaster for Rock Hudson immediately after its release, the film’s cult status has grown over the years, and Hudson’s performance is now widely considered as the finest of his career.

Critic David Sterritt writes, “Almost half a century after its premiere, Seconds remains unique – a probing psychological adventure, a merciless assault on social evils, and one of the most startling, spellbinding rides you’ll ever take.” Based on the 1962 David Ely novel, the film also stars Salome Jens, John Randolph, Will Geer, Jeff Corey, Richard Anderson, and Murray Hamilton. Cinematographer James Wong Howe was nominated for an Academy Award. In 2015, the United States Library of Congress selected Seconds for preservation in the National Film Registry, finding it “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.”

Please note that the film features adult content. For further information, contact the Allendale Branch Library by phone at (626) 744-7260 or visit






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