Five Minutes To Live

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Also Known As

  • Door-to-Door Maniac (USA reissue title)
  • Last Blood (USA video title)
  • Noch fünf Minuten zu leben (West Germany)


  • How could she extend the moments he had given her?
  • A woman's price drops fast as the time limit ticks away!
  • It could be your street... your house... your life!
  • When the door bell rings... Don't answer! It could be the Door-to-Door Maniac!

Main Details

  • Released in 1961 (Re-released 1965)
  • B & W
  • Running Time: 80 Min.
  • Production Co: Flower Films

Cast and Crew

  • Directed by Bill Karn
  • Written by Cay Forrester, Palmer Thompson, Robert L. Joseph
  • Starring Johnny Cash, Donald Woods, Cay Forrester, Vic Tayback, Ron Howard, Merle Travis
  • Produced by James Ellsworth
  • Original Title Track by Johnny Cash (performed with Merle Travis)
  • Cinematography by Carl E. Guthrie
  • Film Editing by Donald Nosseck

Film Review


As an artifact, this film serves as a decent time capsule. It features a young Johnny Cash playing "Johnny Cabot," a murderous hood on the lam and looking for his next big score. He partners with Fred Dorella (Vic Tayback) and they set off to kidnap a bank president's wife in exchange for $70,000. As usual, Bill Karn (Ma Barker's Killer Brood (1960)) tried to develop this as a noir-style crime flick complete with Dorella's confession upfront and narration throughout. However, the movie turns out to be more lighthearted in the end. One interesting feature to this film is its California suburban setting. Much of Tayback's and Cash's dialog centers on condemning the stale, boring life generated by the suburbs. This sentiment would continue to grow throughout the remainder of the 1960s. In addition, Johnny Cash wrote and performed the film's title track "Five Minutes to Live (with Merle Travis--a noted soundtrack artist in his own right). You will also see him picking his guitar throughout and serenading his captive. Overall, this is your typical early 1960s drive-in schlock. Were it not for the appearance of Johnny Cash it would be difficult to watch. How's his acting? Let's just be thankful he stuck to his music!

Reviewed by Texploited February 2010

Cool Quote

Johnny Cabot: "She may live like a magazine ad, but she don't look like one."

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