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Five Minutes to Live (1961)

Approved
80 min | Crime, Drama, Music

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 ...See moreOriginally 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 fails to call the house back, Cabot is to kill Nancy. Wilson confesses to Fred that he has been planning to run off to Las Vegas with Ellen, the woman he has been having an affair with, and Fred will be doing him a favor by getting rid of Nancy. But as the minutes tick by, Wilson cracks and agrees to give him the money. Fred make the first call to save Nancy. The clock starts ticking again, another 5 minutes, for Fred to collect the money and get out of the bank safely. While Fred is working on Wilson, Nancy is terrorized by Cabot-- manhandled and shot at, invited to slip into something more comfortable (which she does in a futile attempt to distract him) and finally forced to listen to him serenade her with "Five Minutes to Live" and "I've Come to Kill" while he waits for the second call. The call hasn't come as Fred has been overpowered by the police, who were alerted by the bank's silent alarm. Cabot is getting more and more stressed. While worrying about Fred not calling, he is completely thrown by Little Bobby arriving home for lunch just as the police arrive at the Wilson house. Cabot panics, grabs Bobby and runs into the yard under police fire. Bobby fakes his death to save himself, and Cabot is shot by a cop in the yard. Nancy is reunited with her now-contrite husband, who decides he will still go to Las Vegas, but with Nancy. Written by msb/lll See less
Read more: Plot summary
Director
Writers
Cay Forester (screenplay) | Palmer Thompson (based on a story by) | Robert L. Joseph (adaptation) (as Robert Joseph)
Composer
Cinematographer
Carl E. Guthrie (as Carl Guthrie)
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Release date
Dec 7, 1961 (United States)

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Cast

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20 cast members
Name STARmeter Known for
Johnny Cash
Johnny Cabot Johnny Cabot   See fewer
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Donald Woods
Ken Wilson Ken Wilson   See fewer
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Cay Forester
Nancy Wilson Nancy Wilson   See fewer
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Pamela Mason
Ellen Harcourt Ellen Harcourt   See fewer
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Midge Ware
Doris Johnson Doris Johnson   See fewer
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Vic Tayback
Fred Dorella Fred Dorella   See fewer
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Ron Howard
Bobby Wilson (as Ronnie Howard) Bobby Wilson (as Ronnie Howard)   See fewer
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Norma Varden
Priscilla Auerbach Priscilla Auerbach   See fewer
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Leslie Kimmell
Mr. Johnson (as Leslie Kimmel) Mr. Johnson (as Leslie Kimmel)   See fewer
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Marge Waller
Secretary Secretary   See fewer
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Cynthia Flower
Girl Bowling Girl Bowling   See fewer
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Howard Wright
Pop (as Fred Howard) Pop (as Fred Howard)   See fewer
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Charles Buck
Bank Teller Bank Teller   See fewer
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Byrd Holland
Policeman Policeman   See fewer
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Rue McClanahan
Pamela (uncredited) Pamela (uncredited)   See fewer
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Ratings Breakdown

5.7 / 10 | 616 votes