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Five Minutes to Live (1961)

5.9
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Ratings: 5.9/10 from 459 users  
Reviews: 28 user | 11 critic

A gang of bank robbers terrorize a small town by knocking on doors and then killing whoever answers.

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(screenplay), (based on a story by), 1 more credit »
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Title: Five Minutes to Live (1961)

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Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Johnny Cabot
Donald Woods ...
Ken Wilson
Cay Forester ...
Nancy Wilson
Pamela Mason ...
Ellen Harcourt
...
Fred Dorella
...
Bobby Wilson (as Ronnie Howard)
Merle Travis ...
Max
Midge Ware ...
Doris Johnson
...
Priscilla Auerbach
Leslie Kimmell ...
Mr. Johnson (as Leslie Kimmel)
Marge Waller ...
Secretary
Patricia Lynn ...
Gert
Frances Flower ...
Irma
Hanna Landy ...
Carol
Cynthia Flower ...
Girl Bowling
Edit

Storyline

Originally released in 1961 as Five Minutes to Live, this low-budget crime drama was later re-released as Door-to-Door Maniac. Fred narrates the film in flashback, detailing a suburban bank robbery that goes awry. In his simple plan, he hires a hard-up hood, Johnny Cabot to take the wife of the bank's vice president hostage. Cabot will hold her until he gets a call alerting him that Fred has been successful in getting ransom money. Cabot waits, and watches the Wilson house as the husband leaves for the bank and their young son heads off to school. Posing as a door-to-door guitar instructor, he forces his way into the house and takes Nancy Wilson hostage. At the bank, Fred talks his way into Ken Wilson's office, and presents his personal check for $70,000, intending that Wilson will withdraw the funds to cover the check as a ransom for his wife. He has Wilson call home to prove that Nancy is being held by the unstable Cabot, and gives Wilson 5 minutes to make his decision. If Fred ... Written by msb/lll

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

bank | house | police | hostage | bank robbery | See more »

Taglines:

When the door bell rings... Don't answer! It could be the Door-to-Door Maniac! See more »

Genres:

Crime | Music | Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

TV-PG | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

February 1964 (Austria)  »

Also Known As:

Door-to-Door Maniac  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Budget:

$100,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (TCM print)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Quotes

Johnny Cabot: I like a messy bed.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in No Way to Treat a Lady (1968) See more »

Soundtracks

Five Minutes To Live
Written by Johnny Cash
Solo Guitar by Merle Travis (as Merl Travis)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Excellent low budget thriller!
14 August 2006 | by (Beverley Hills, England) – See all my reviews

This film is best remembered for the fact that it stars country legend Johnny Cash is his first film role. This actually lowered my expectations for the film, as I'm not a massive fan of Cash and films that go down in history for the casting of a non-actor are often not very good...but this film has far more going for it than it's lead actor, and overall I've got to say that it's criminal that this hasn't won itself a more esteemed place in cinema history. It's clear that the film was shot on a very low budget as it features a very grainy black and white picture, a small central cast and some suspect acting from all corners; but all this stuff doesn't matter, as the screenplay is well written and there's a lot of fun to be had with this film. The plot follows a couple of guys who think they've discovered the perfect get rich quick scheme. One of them pretends to be a salesman in order to get into the house of the president of the women's association, while the other one pretends to be a customer at her husband's bank. After explaining the situation to her husband, they offer him a trade; his money or his wife.

Overall, it has to be said that this little thriller isn't very original as there have been a lot of films in this same vein; but Bill Karn's film approaches it's subject with a fresh view, and the way that the director continually ensures the tone is always bleak provides a major highlight. It's easy to believe that the central character is in danger through Cash's loose cannon performance, and the way that the action focuses on two central locations; the family home and the bank, ensures that the plot always takes centre stage, and it is made interesting through its memorable cast of characters. Even though Cash wasn't predominantly an actor, his performance is really good and the way that the director lets him play his guitar makes best use of him. And on a personal note, I think it's good of Cash to put himself at risk to play a sadistic maniacal character. The rest of the support cast play second fiddle to the musical genius, but each one gives a good turn and this ensures that the film is elevated above its low budget thriller status. It all boils down to an exciting and satisfying climax that both deals fitting comeuppance, and rounds it all off nicely. Overall, this film is well worth tracking down and comes highly recommended!


10 of 12 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Five Minutes to Live or Door-to-Door Maniac? braves_snl
Trivia Info babyboomerjim
public domain - internet archive mineralskin
“ I like a messy bed” tyler_roughnecks
Incorrect Plot Detail/Logline reames
on comcast on demand right now ! melissy87-928-30530
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