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Two Seconds

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RedRiver
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Two Seconds

Postby RedRiver » May 1st, 2016, 2:03 pm

I never heard of this fine pre-code crime drama until recently. I ran right to the library, and had them order it for me! Young (and brilliant) Edward G. Robinson is strapped to the electric chair and the switch is pulled. In the (you guessed it) two seconds it takes him to perish, his life passes before him. Director Mervyn Le Roy depicts a decent construction worker who makes one bad choice, a dame of course, and all spirals out of control. Best buddy, Preston Foster, without a moustache, sees it coming, but is powerless to intervene.

The story is told in flashback, showing the rapid deterioration of a life that might have been better, save one big mistake. Themes of gambling, prostitution and murder color this sordid but fascinating story as it efficiently rolls back to the beginning...and the chair! Robinson delivers some of the finest "pull no punches" acting I've ever seen. It's his best performance, even surpassing the resigned Christopher Cross in SCARLET STREET, and bull-headed Keyes in DOUBLE INDEMNITY.

This small, no budget thriller is unforgettable.

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Jezebel38
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Re: Two Seconds

Postby Jezebel38 » May 1st, 2016, 6:20 pm

RedRiver wrote: Robinson delivers some of the finest "pull no punches" acting I've ever seen. It's his best performance, even surpassing the resigned Christopher Cross in SCARLET STREET, and bull-headed Keyes in DOUBLE INDEMNITY.

This small, no budget thriller is unforgettable.


I agree with you Red - this movie blew me away when I first saw it, and turned me into an EGR devotee. Here is the climax:

phpBB [video]

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moira finnie
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Re: Two Seconds

Postby moira finnie » May 1st, 2016, 6:44 pm

I agree that this 94 year old film can still leave blisters on the modern psyche. Your enthusiasm makes me want to see it again. If interested, there's more here about the brilliantly overwrought pre-code performance by Eddie and company:

http://moviemorlocks.com/2010/01/20/two-seconds-1932/
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RedRiver
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Joined: July 28th, 2011, 9:42 am

Re: Two Seconds

Postby RedRiver » May 3rd, 2016, 11:13 am

Brilliantly overwrought is right, Moira. Can you imagine Gary Cooper or Cary Grant so out of control, and NOT looking ridiculous? Robinson commits to it. He knows where he's going, and knows it won't be easy. I, myself, do some amateur acting. I couldn't pull this off in a million years. My video is not due back till May 26. I will definitely watch it again before returning!

I guess Glenda Farrell wasn't available to play the manipulative "Dime a Dance" girl. The actress cast did a fine job. Her name was Vivienne Osborne. But this is a Glenda Farrell role!


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