Most people are not familiar with the works of director John Frankenheimer with the exception of his 1962 film The Manchurian Candidate. This film was yanked out of movie theaters after the assassination of JFK and was remade into a sad shadow of itself by Jonathan Demme in 2004. But I want to talk about another of Frankenheimer's films which often gets overlooked. After my night of drinking and smoking had come to an end, I came home and watched my Netflix copy of Seconds.
Coming out in 1966, it stars actor John Randolph as a wealthy middle aged man who feels like his life has come to an existential dead end. This is until he discovers a secret organization which can offer him a new or second life. He's death is faked and he is given extensive plastic surgery and a new life to become a swinging, successful artist, played by a haunted looking Rock Hudson. But this deal comes with consequences which our hero comes to realize later.
A lot has happened since 1966. Men and women still have their midlife crisis, but they can have their second life on Facebook or...uh...Second Life. Rock Hudson's hidden life (rumors of him being gay were around for years, but not confirmed) was made public to the world when he was diagnosed with AIDS. And hopefully, Seconds will never be remade because the original is definitely worth seeing. Hudson said it was his favorite performance next to Giant and it is one of the three great "paranoia" films of Frankenheimer including Seconds, Seven Days in May and The Manchurian Candidate. Take some time and maybe a little puff of MK Ultra and rent these films.