Thursday, August 21, 2003


A Video Review of "Two Seconds"

Copyright 2003 Glenn Walker

According to the opening of this 1932 classic after a man is zapped in the electric chair the brain still functions for a full two seconds - long enough for a man's life to flash before his eyes. That's the premise here as we see riveter Edward G. Robinson's descent into darkness in his last two seconds.

It begins with roommates Edward G. and Preston Foster whose camaraderie would make any 1980s buddy movie jealous. They spend their days working on skyscrapers and their nights double-dating and betting on the horses. When Foster blows off a date Edward G. ends up in the clutches of dime-a-dance girl Vivienne Osborne and eventually marries her in a drunken night on the town. Later arguing over Osborne at work Robinson accidentally knocks Foster off the building in a scene deserving of Vertigo. The following depression finally leads to murder.

Directed by Mervyn LeRoy and based on the Elliott Lester play this cliched story is elevated by the brilliant performances of the cast. Everyone even Edward G. Robinson who seems over the top at points is amazing here. This film is a nice time capsule into the 1930s and full of great acting. Check it out.

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