Five Minutes To Live (1961)

I can only hope that one day I’m playing movie trivia and get thrown the question, “Name the movie where The Man in Black and Opie go down in a ring of fire”. Now I’ll know!

Five Minutes to Live (aka Door-to-Door Maniac) is poverty row, crime thriller with a preposterously tidy ending. Notable only because it stars Johnny Cash, who also sings the title track. The film also features a young Ron Howard who gets used as a human shield by the unscrupulous Cash. The film’s novel robber concept film is done better a decade later in Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry. The idea of a kidnap plot unraveled by a lack of love or disinterest in the wellfare of the kidnapped reoccurs in The Candysnatchers. There too, it’s done better. Neither of those films have Johnny Cash. Unlike other singers trying to transition into movie stars Cash doesn’t take a glamorous role. He’s a, edgy, cold, misogynistic criminal and he revels in the nastiness of the role.


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