Thursday, February 8, 2018

A Minute to Pray, a Second to Die 50th Anniversary

50 years ago today saw the premier of “A Minute to Pray, a Second to Die” starring Alex Cord, Arthur Kennedy and Robert Ryan in Rome, Italy. A morose film based on a man who thinks he has epilepsy but it’s a bullet he received in a gunfight that occasionally on a nerve in his gun hand. When he finally get the bullet removed he decides to take a pardon offered by the Governor. Depending on which version of the film you see you get a happy or unhappy ending for Clay McCord.  The film grossed $885,000 in the U.S.

Clay McCord is a legendary outlaw determined to live the life of a law-abiding citizen. Colby is the town marshal who lives by the letter of the law. Not far from Colby’s peaceful town is Escondido, a haven for criminals led by Kraut, a trigger happy outlaw who welcomes those who are wanted by the law. McCord worries that he may have the epilepsy that plagued his father and hastened his demise. He battles the sadistic gunman while hoping for a pardon from the sympathetic governor. He also falls for the lovely Laurinda as he walks between the two worlds of the law and the lawless. The film has two endings: one McCord receives his amnesty and rides away a free man ready to start a new life. The second ending has McCord receiving amnesty but is shot and killed by two bounty hunters when he leaves town. The bounty hunters, unaware McCord is not wanted anymore and receive nothing for their trouble when they go to turn the body in.

Un minute per pregare, un instante per morire – Italian title
Dove vai ti ammazzo – Italian title
Escondido – Italian title
Elävänä tai kuolleena – Finnish title
Une minute pour prier… une seconde pour mourir – French title
Mehr tot als labendig – German title
Kataziteitai: Zontanos i nekros – Greek title
Zywy lub martwy – Polish title
Morto oy vivo – Portuguese title
Un’ minute para rezar… un Segundo para morir – Spanish title
En minut att be, en sekund att do – Swedish title
Dead or Alive – English title
Outlaw Gun – English title
A Minute to Pray, a Second to Die – U.S.A. title

A 1967 Italian production [Documento Film (Rome)]
Producers: Albert Band, Selig J. Seligman
Director: Franco Giraldi
Story: Albert Band
Screenplay: Ugo Liberatore, Louis Garfinkle
Cinematography: Aiace Parolin [Eastmancolor]
Music: Carlo Rustichelli
Running time: 103 minutes

Clay McCord – Alex Cord
Marshal Roy W. Colby – Arthur Kennedy
Governor Lem Carter – Robert Ryan
Laurinda – Nicoletta Machiavelli
Kraut – Mario Brega
‘Cheap’ Charley – Renato Romano
Deputy Marshal Butler – Franco Lantieri
Fred Duskin – Gianpiero Albertini
Father Santana – Daniel Martin
Doctor Chase – Enzo Fiermonte
Seminole – Pedro Canalejas (José Canaleja)
Fuzzy – Osiride Pevarello
El Bailarin – José Manuel Martin
Sein – Antonio Molino Rojo
Ruby – Rosita Palomar
Barber – Paco Sanz
Sid – Paolo Magalotti
Zack – Massimo Sarchielli
Deputy – Claudio Ruffini
Clay McCord as a boy – Ottaviano Dell’Acqua
Ruby’s son – Alberto Dell’Acqua
Jonas – Antonio Vico
Jesús Maria – Aldo Sambrell
Kraut henchmen – Spartaco Conversi, Lorenzo Robledo, Franco Balducci
Doc’s old assistant – Gino Marturano
Storekeeper – Benito Stefanelli
Pete – Guglielmo Spoletini
Bounty hunter – Lorenzo Robledo
Old outlaw – Franco Gulà
Saloon patron – Mimmo Poli, Claudio Ruffini, Nino Vingelli
Townsman – John Bartha
With: Fortunato Arena, Silla Bettini, Giovanni Scratuglia

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