Berlinale: Programme

Film file



Der Mann, der zweimal lebte

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A middle-aged banker in New York is contacted by a friend he believed dead who introduces him to a company that offers to provide him with a new identity – a younger body and a new name. So Arthur Hamilton becomes Tony Wilson, a handsome artist living in Malibu. A young woman soon falls in love with him, but Tony is not happy with his new existence. He feels his life as a “reborn” is as much determined by outside forces as his previous life. His attempted escape from his golden cage, however, has dramatic consequences ... Is it possible to remain forever young? The American Dream becomes a nightmare in this, the third in John Frankenheimer’s “paranoia trilogy” made in the wake of the McCarthy era. Using high-contrast, wide-angle lenses and distorted perspective, cinematographer James Wong Howe conjures up the Kafkaesque atmosphere of a “brave new world”, in which individual personality appears to be no more than an arbitrary construct of plastic surgery. For three actors who were on the Hollywood blacklist, including the lead John Randolph, Seconds was indeed a “rebirth” and the start of a new career.

John Frankenheimer

USA 1966


107’ · Black/White · 35 mm

Rating R18


Rock Hudson
Salome Jens
John Randolph
Will Geer
Jeff Corey
Richard Anderson
Murray Hamilton
Karl Swenson


John Frankenheimer
Lewis John Carlino, adapted from the novel “Seconds” (1963) by David Ely
Director of Photography
James Wong Howe
Ferris Webster, David Newhouse
Jerry Goldsmith
Joe Edmondson, John Wilkinson
Art Director
Ted Haworth
Jack Petty, Mark Reedall
Edward Lewis

Produced by

Douglas & Lewis Productions/Gibraltar Productions/Joel Productions