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A Minute to Pray, A Second to Die

3.5 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Alex Cord, Robert Ryan. A hardened gunslinger has a change of heart and tries to reform but his past haunts him and lawmen continue to hunt him down. 1968/color/118 min/R/widescreen.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Alex Cord, Arthur Kennedy, Robert Ryan, Enzo Fiermonte, Renato Romano
  • Directors: Franco Giraldi
  • Writers: Albert Band, Louis Garfinkle, Ugo Liberatore
  • Producers: Albert Band, Selig J. Seligman
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Letterboxed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    R
    Restricted
  • Studio: MGM (Video & DVD)
  • DVD Release Date: May 25, 2004
  • Run Time: 118 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0001GF2K6
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #31,637 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "A Minute to Pray, A Second to Die" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Steven Hellerstedt on December 20, 2005
Format: DVD
Six minutes into A MINUTE TO PRAY, A SECOND TO DIE I'd seen one chase, one ambush, and one quasi-Freudian flashback. Without a Clint or a Lee van to latch onto, I wasn't even sure who I was supposed to be watching, although I guessed right and kept my eyes on the blond guy with a bad case of the shakes.

Blond Alex Cord plays outlaw Clay McCord, a hard case bad guy tracked by bounty hunters, spurned by a town marshal played by Arthur Kennedy - even though there's an amnesty in effect - and resented by his fellow outlaws. Whip quick and deadly accurate with a gun, McCord is more or less a standard-issue spaghetti western protagonist - proficient, humorless, a two-dimensional loner in a dangerous world. Most of these quote unquote heroes are difficult to impossible to warm up to, and most spaghetti westerns are analogous to tossing a scorpion into a boxful of fire ants. There's a good chance you'll see an interesting fight or two, but you won't much care who crawls out of the box at the end.

In any event, after around twenty minutes or so the plot kicked into gear and the movie began to gain some serious momentum. McCord suffers from periodic, debilitating seizures - a bad case of the shakes that mimics the epilepsy his father suffered from. Not a good thing for a gunslinger who lives, or dies, on nerves and reflexes. McCord's search for a doctor takes him past Kennedy's town, where the governor's amnesty is mocked and bounty hunters are paid off on the sly, to the dingy town of Escondido. Escondido is a typical spaghetti western town, something of a cross between a hippie commune, a Hells Angels' boot camp and a leper colony.
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Format: DVD
This was originally released to the English speaking world as Dead or Alive - which makes a lot more sense when you consider the storyline concerns bounty hunters, a town full of outlaws and a crooked sherrif offering amnesty. Alex Cord (whose big chance at stardom with Stagecoach came to grief two years before this film was made) plays an outlaw who's lightning fast on the draw, until he's wracked by shaking fits. Flashbacks reveal his father was an epileptic, and Cord is terrified that the same fate is in store for him. Although it's not up there with the classics (Django, Texas Adio, Keoma, The Bounty Killer), this is an enjoyable example of the sort of westerns the Italians were churning out in the sixties: silly dialogue, plenty of gunfire, lashings of sadism (the villains drowning a hapless civilan in a pool of oil; Cord being beaten to a pulp before being suspended by ropes above the town; a priest being tortured and gunned down) and the ubiquitous Mario Brega and Aldo Sambrell as leering, sweating bad guys. My only complaint is that this is the edited version - from the reviews I've read that were written in the 1960s, the film had a downbeat ending that sounded similar to The Great Silence.
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Format: DVD
Further to one of the other reviews on this page, this is indeed a truncated version of the original film, which is a shame, as the plot is actually more involving than most. If you weren't aware of the original ending, the film seems complete, but the actual finale would give the film an extra ironic punch that this version lacks.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Surprisingly good for an Italian film, though not as good as the Clint Eastwood ones. The plot had similarities to El Dorado and A Man Called Noon in spots, but was a little plodding. A decent buy if it's cheap, but don't try watching it if you're sleepy.

The video and audio quality were OK, but not outstanding.
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The DVD box states that this movie is 118 minutes long. Wrong! As presented on the disk it is approximately 100 minutes. As much as 18 minutes have been chopped off-- primarily the true ending of the movie. This film has been mentioned in two books on the Italowesterns and I know how it is supposed to end. But not here. Too bad.
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Format: DVD
This is a good spaghetti western starring Alex Cord and Arthur Kennedy. This movie also stars: Robert Ryan, Enzo Fiermonte, Renato Romano, Mario Brega and others. This film runs for about 118mins (1hr 58min) and is in Widescreen format (1.85:1). This might not be the best Western during the 60s, but it's better than a lot of the b-westerns. I would and I have recommended this.
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I remember this film from years back. Love Alex Cord. Arrived as expected. DVD was loose in case. No apparent scratches.
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