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One Minute Before Death (1972)

 -  Horror
3.9
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Ratings: 3.9/10 from 81 users  
Reviews: 5 user | 9 critic

A woman finds herself possessed by the soul of another woman trapped inside a painting.

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Title: One Minute Before Death (1972)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Wanda Hendrix ...
Lisa Buckingham
Barry Coe ...
Joseph Hudson
...
Mrs. Warren
...
Rebecca
Barney O'Sullivan
Doris Buckinham ...
Mrs. Buckingham
Pia Shandel ...
Regina
D. Goldrick ...
(as Doris Goldrick)
Bill Braden
Ivor Harries ...
(as Ivor Harris)
Graham Crowell
Allan Anderson ...
(as Allen Anderson)
Dax Logan
Jack Ammon
George Spracklin
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Storyline

A woman finds herself possessed by the soul of another woman trapped inside a painting.

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Horror

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Edgar Allan Poe's One Minute Before Midnight  »

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Final film of Wanda Hendrix. See more »

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User Reviews

hack work, but good for a Sunday afternoon
12 November 2003 | by (Weaverville, NC) – See all my reviews

What can be said about this forgotten flick, which gratuitously uses Edgar Allen Poe's name (on the British and home video release)in an attempt to punch up it's marquee value, employs an actress who is 50 if she's a day as the leading ingenue, and is lensed by Mexican filmmakers in what looks like the American Northwest? Quite a bit.

The movie concerns a mother and daughter who have come for the reading of a will to the mother's brother's house. Soon the daughter becomes possessed by the spirit of her dead cousin and all sorts of weirdness happens. We learn from the faithful housekeeper that her former employer was a Union Commander and left his daughter alone to go off to war. Unbeknownst to him, their was a renegade Confederate soldier hiding in his house, and his daughter had fallen in love with him. The soldier is recaptured (as he and the girl almost exchange wedding vows), the now-pregnant daughter is thrown out by her father when he learns of this, she loses the baby and her mind, the father goes crazy and dies, and the daughter dies. Whew! and that's the backstory! Certainly no plot deficiencies here!

In it's better moments, ONE MINUTE BEFORE DEATH(or ONE MINUTE BEFORE MIDNIGHT or THE OVAL PORTRAIT, take your pick)plays like a lesser entry in the Hammer Studios catalog. In it's worse moments, the movie comes on like a particularly overripe episode of DARK SHADOWS. The premise, concerning a deceased woman who possesses the body of a cousin, is rather weak and the film slips into weirdness near the end. The movie resorts to flying objects and mummified corpses to carry the last 30 or so minutes. The post-Civil War setting details are shakey; some of the dresses and hats the actresses wear look to be from a vintage some 20-40 years after the time of the setting. Still, there is some pretty scenery and some luxurious antebellum sets. Not high art, or even frightening, but clean and okay for passing an interminable Sunday afternoon.


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