Five Minutes to Live [DVD] [1961]

After years out of print on home video, And More Bears, an offshoot of the excellent German roots-music record label Bear Family, has given this tough little B-picture (featuring a striking turn from leading man Johnny Cash) a well-deserved release on DVD. Five Minutes to Live (aka Door-to-Door Maniac) has been transferred to disc in the full-frame aspect ratio of 1.33:1, and the audio has been mastered in Dolby Digital Mono. The dialogue is in English, and the disc features optional German subtitles. The only bonus item on this release is the Door-to-Door Maniac trailer, and while the transfer is clear and strong, the print used shows more wear than one might hope. Still, the packaging is beautiful, with the booklet featuring stills and ad artwork from the movie, and there's an accompanying essay on the film...unfortunately, it's only in German. Still, any hardcore Johnny Cash fan will want to see this movie at least once, and this is easily the best-quality release its seen on home video to date.
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Special Features

  • Trailer of 'Door-to-Door Maniac'
  • Booklet with stills and ad artwork from the movie; also includes a German-only essay on the film


Five Minutes to Live
Johnny Cabot (Johnny Cash) is a bloodthirsty New Jersey gangster who is forced to hide out in a small California suburb after killing a cop during a job gone wrong. He's given a chance to get back in the game by Fred Dorella (Vic Tayback), a crook with a novel plan for a foolproof bank heist. Dorella has been studying the daily habits of the Harper Federal Trust vice president Ken Wilson (Donald Woods). He learns that Wilson and his wife Nancy (Cay Forester) are on a strict schedule every morning and Dorella plans to use their dull routine against them. After Wilson goes to work, Johnny tricks his way into the house with Nancy by pretending to be a door-to-door guitar salesman, and then holds her hostage. At the same time, Dorella visits Wilson at the bank and demands 70,000 dollars in cash. If he doesn't get the loot and contact Johnny by phone at a specified time, Nancy will be killed. What Dorella hasn't counted on is that the Wilson home is not a happy one, and Ken is planning on running away with his mistress that very evening. Meanwhile, the leering, sadistic Johnny taunts Nancy about being "the perfect wife." He does all he can to humiliate her, forcing her to put on makeup and a flimsy negligee, slapping her around and singing menacing songs. When the Wilsons' son Bobby (Ron Howard) comes home from school for lunch, a terrifying showdown with the police leads to tragedy. Guitar legend Merle Travis has a small role as a cowardly bowling alley owner in this crime drama, which was re-released in 1966 under the title Door-to-Door Maniac. ~ Fred Beldin, Rovi

Cast & Crew

  • Johnny Cash
    Johnny Cash - Johnny Cabot
  • Donald Woods
    Donald Woods - Ken Wilson
  • Image coming soon
    Cay Forester - Nancy Wilson
  • Image coming soon
    Pamela Mason - Ellen
  • Image coming soon
    Midge Ware - Doris

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