Five MInutes to Live - 1961

This was listen on TMC as Door-to-Door Maniac but as soon as I began watching it, I realized it was actually called Five Minutes to Live. Either way, how could I pass up the chance to see Johnny Cash as a ruthless killer. Johnny plays Johnny Cabot, a killer who teams up with Fred Dorella, who is played by Vic Tayback. Vic would become famous years later for playing Mel in both the 1974 film Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore and the TV show Alice, based on the film.

The idea is simple, Johnny kidnaps a bankers wife, while Vic goes to the bank with a ransom note. Meanwhile, the banker is fooling around with secretary and his planning to leave the wife. The banker and the wife also have a son played by a 7 year old Ronny Howard. If you don't know who Ron Howard is, that please get off my site now. I have no use for you.

For a cheap b-movie that acting isn't bad. Cash's acting isn't great but he does have in moments. If he had kept up the acting, he may have become a good actor. or he may have become like Elvis and made a bunch of half-ass films. The film itself was poorly written and poorly directed. There are moments when this film just drags with pointless dialog and lifeless camera work. It was directed by a guy named Bill Karn. He was the director of a few early TV shows and a couple of low budget films, this film being the last thing he directed.

One of the more surprising scenes in this film is a almost rape scene. Johnny decides to have his way with the house wife. Fortunately for her, a kitchen alarm saves the day. For 1961, this was done in a pretty frank way.

Turner Classic Films usually does a wonderful job of getting the best prints to show, but the one they showed of this film was in poor shape, way to much contrast, some scenes looking very washed out. I sort of think that this is the only available print, or might be the only version left.

From what I've read, the titles was changed from Five Minutes to Live to Door to Door Maniac once Johnny Cash became a big star.

I enjoyed watching this film, if for anything else to see Johnny Cash and an early acting performance. Johnny also sings the theme song.


Anonymous said...

half ass Elvis movies ? you mean he didn't set the standard for acting... he is the King you know LOL ....Willy

Post a Comment