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 Posted:   May 23, 2022 - 2:18 AM   
 By:   KeV McG   (Member)

Haines, were you there for the baby Jesus too?
Did you also predict great things for him?

wink

 
 
 Posted:   May 23, 2022 - 3:28 AM   
 By:   haineshisway   (Member)

Interesting recollection, Bruce. I'm curious ... were Evans Evans and Leonard Nimoy still in the film at that point, or was it closer to the final cut?

It's such a pity that a good chunk of the film appears to be lost to the ages. Along with the aforementioned Evans/Nimoy scene, there was a sequence with a family at the beach that was the source of the brief hallucination at the end of the film. I also found an article describing at least one lengthy additional scene with Barbara Werle, who played Hamilton's secretary at the beginning of the film. Apparently, a dramatic 5.5-minute telephone call between Werle and Rock Hudson garnered applause on the set. This scene was likely meant to occur during the abridged second act, but I wasn't able to find any specifics about its context, nor if it wound up in Frankenheimer's original cut. Regardless, I'd love to have a peek at the shooting script.

Depending on when the trims were made, it seems conceivable that Goldsmith might have written music for some of these excised scenes. Since the only audio source we have for the score is the music stems, anything recorded but not used would not have been on them. A shame his sketches aren't archived at AMPAS.


It was the final cut we all know. I would think if there were those extra sequences that Paramount would have them in the vault.

 
 
 Posted:   May 23, 2022 - 4:30 AM   
 By:   (Member)   (Member)

... but honestly, this feels like what Seconds should sound like, a gritty, black and white, '60s sci-fi score.

Glad you're enjoying this too, Schiffy. Funny though, just reading your comment "...'60s sci-fi score..." made me realise how much of it actually seems to avoid sounding like that. There are maybe, what, three tracks (?) where it goes all Twilighty Zonish or FREUDian (ha!) but for the most part it's just so incredibly melancholy. I could be pretentious (oh yes, I can be) and say that this is Goldsmith conveying a sense of loss, or a sense of longing. That's what it conveys to me anyway. The liner notes state that the "Love Theme" (as such) is a close cousin of THE BLUE MAX's Love Theme, and that's true, but overall the score which SECONDS is most closely related to is for me THE ILLUSTRATED MAN - one of my favourite scores of all time.

While I'm here I may as well add that I'm not particularly struck by the source cues - and I often love source music, especially for cocktail parties - but there's nothing much of interest in them. In fact the two Jimmie Haskell tracks (especially the last, Wacky Races one) are irritating. I will listen to them again, but never as part of the main prog. Last night I heard the 25-min score (only) and was so enthralled that I as soon as it had finished, I put it on again. One of the joys of 25-minute scores.




I don't agree with you, Mr Wilson. These source tracks are essential to the whole and they underline well certain scenes in which the lead undergoes some dramatic stuff and they create a strong and mad counterpoint.

Moreover, the film doesn't belong to the "science fiction genre" at all but to the social and existential drama: it's more like a philosophical tale camouflaged as a horror story with a political overtone (very anti corporation). It's basically a character's study on old age. An old man refusing his age. From the start Arthur Hamilton has a double life that he hides from his wife: a frustrated painter forced to live a conventional life. Then he physically embraces his private fantasy by becoming Wilson. Do you read me, Mr Wilson? Are you faifthful to the company, Mr Wilson?



Actually, Seconds can be filed with a Twilight Zone segment entitled “A Stop at Willoughby”.
Both see an executive with a wife issue and taking refuge in a fantasy (painting here, a town there) and ultimately dies.

 
 
 Posted:   May 23, 2022 - 4:32 AM   
 By:   (Member)   (Member)

Could someone who is less of a caveman than me put up the YouTube link to the Saul Bass Main Titles please? It really is a startling musical-visual combination. Apart from the clear influence of JG's earlier TWILIGHT ZONE and THRILLER scores (and of course things like FREUD) I'm hearing a noticeable Herrmann connection too. Also, that "baroque" touch is something I've loved in all the scores where Goldsmith leaned on that style, be it THE BROTHERHOOD OF THE BELL, the Jacques Loussier style of "switched on Bach" in SEBASTIAN and some others whose titles elude me at the moment.

In the FSM CD of the (brilliant) THE ILLUSTRATED MAN, don't they mention one of the themes as being "Renaissance"? That theme actually sounds more Baroque to me, but I guess one style didn't just stop overnight to make way for the next one. I do so want to call the music for SECONDS "Renaissance" just so that I could say that Jerry was knowingly commenting on the "rebirth" theme of the film.


Some brief passages feature chamber music style.

 
 
 Posted:   May 23, 2022 - 4:55 AM   
 By:   moolik   (Member)

Actually when I watched the movie I expected another ending at first .That Wilson actually transfers again into his former self..realizing that his life wasnt as bad at all...but the movie ending is more wicked of course ..its a bit TWILIGHT ZONE for sure.

 
 
 Posted:   May 23, 2022 - 7:41 AM   
 By:   (Member)   (Member)

Actually when I watched the movie I expected another ending at first .That Wilson actually transfers again into his former self..realizing that his life wasnt as bad at all...but the movie ending is more wicked of course ..its a bit TWILIGHT ZONE for sure.


You may be thought of the ending of “The Trade-Ins” (season 3) from The Twilight Zone.

Summary from “The Trade-Ins”
An elderly couple shop for younger replacement bodies, then resort to desperate measures to cover the cost.

 
 Posted:   May 23, 2022 - 8:12 AM   
 By:   Yavar Moradi   (Member)

You're right. I didn't know what to make of it when it came out. Granted, I was two years old.

I was nearly (checks notes) negative two decades old. But at least I got to see it for the first time in theater, completely "blind" with no idea what it was about, just like Bruce. It was amazing. Harrowing, really. The experience has never fully left me. I'm sure if I'd been in Bruce's preview theater I would have been one of the people who stayed, mesmerized.

Yavar

 
 Posted:   May 23, 2022 - 3:26 PM   
 By:   SchiffyM   (Member)

Moreover, the film doesn't belong to the "science fiction genre" at all but to the social and existential drama: it's more like a philosophical tale camouflaged as a horror story with a political overtone (very anti corporation).

It has been many years since I've seen it, but now that I think about it, the surgery really isn't sci-fi, is it? Just more advanced than we were then (or now). Or is he also more youthful post-surgery? I can't remember. It felt sci-fi-y to me. But maybe was only a vaguely pushed reality.

 
 Posted:   May 23, 2022 - 3:37 PM   
 By:   Wedge   (Member)

It has been many years since I've seen it, but now that I think about it, the surgery really isn't sci-fi, is it? Just more advanced than we were then (or now). Or is he also more youthful post-surgery? I can't remember. It felt sci-fi-y to me. But maybe was only a vaguely pushed reality.

Plastic surgery as we know it today, especially elective cosmetic surgery, really only started taking shape in the 1960s (the first silicone breast implant was unveiled in 1962). So it was new enough to feel sort of like science-fiction to many people. Add to that the fact that the film pushes past the realm of actual medical science with the radical nature of the transformation; plus an all-powerful, Kafka-esque "Company" that depends on a massive conspiracy for its continued existence -- highly improbable in the real world but a staple of dystopian futurism -- and you have a story that is, at minimum, on the cusp of science-fiction.

 
 
 Posted:   May 23, 2022 - 3:49 PM   
 By:   Last Child   (Member)

One wonders if the same miracle could be performed on The Satan Bug (this is not me wishing immediately for The Satan Bug - okay, it is!)

I'll SECONDS that wish! Immediately!

 
 Posted:   May 23, 2022 - 4:07 PM   
 By:   SchiffyM   (Member)

Thanks for the explanation, Wedge! That makes complete sense. (I should watch the film again sometime.)

 
 Posted:   May 23, 2022 - 4:14 PM   
 By:   Yavar Moradi   (Member)

I agree it's an excellent explanation, John.

Yavar

 
 Posted:   May 24, 2022 - 6:50 AM   
 By:   Sean Nethery   (Member)

I just watched Seconds for the third time this weekend since I was getting the new edition. And since it's a film that has never clicked with me even though I love both Frankenheimer and '60s style paranoia.

And I too kept going back and forth about whether it's science fiction or not. For me, it's mostly just surrealism since so much of what happens doesn't really make any sense. Almost dream like. Especially how Arthur is brought to the company almost passively, and pressured to get the transformation rather than being seduced into it. But also the bacchanalia and the party, the room full of men waiting for... Something, etc....

I really like Wedge's term being on the cusp of science fiction. I think that's just right. Still don't care much for the movie but it's because of the overarching banality of the script, especially clear in the Rock Hudson sections where better writing would have made a much more involving and sad story. I kind of wished for Rod Serling's hortatory but smarter approach to this kind of thing, but his characters are more self aware than this one was meant to be, so ultimately just a matter of personal taste.

It has always felt to me like one of those late, overlong Twilight Zone episodes that felt like a half hour stretched into an hour. Still does. (Um, kind of contradicts my wish for a Serling approach in the last graph, but there you go.) On the other hand, my wife, who didn't watch with me, nevertheless remembered the drill at the end, so indeed some striking and chilling imagery.

I think that Goldsmith's score does feel like sci-fi. There's just no way to avoid it when you hear a weird organ with unusual images. He may have been going for a quasi religious feeling but I just don't hear it that way. Still like the score but don't love it as much as some others do, or as much as Freud or The Illustrated Man, for example. Though I'm grateful for this new edition where it does indeed play much better.

 
 Posted:   May 25, 2022 - 2:44 PM   
 By:   The Mutant   (Member)

This is a pretty substantial improvement in sound quality.
Very glad to have it. Probably the darkest, most disturbing Goldsmith score.

 
 Posted:   May 25, 2022 - 2:54 PM   
 By:   Yavar Moradi   (Member)

Probably the darkest, most disturbing Goldsmith score.



Much of Seconds is downright beautiful. wink

Yavar

 
 Posted:   May 25, 2022 - 6:19 PM   
 By:   The Mutant   (Member)

Ah yeah. I always forget about that one. Okay his second most darkest score.

Ps - I can totally get down with these source cues, especially the last one.

 
 Posted:   May 25, 2022 - 7:52 PM   
 By:   David Sones (Allardyce)   (Member)


Ps - I can totally get down with these source cues, especially the last one.


Me, too! I have repeated the CD several times and that last source cue is awesomely addictive.

 
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