A Minute to Pray, a Second to Die / Un minuto per pregare, un istante per morire (Franco Giraldi, 1968)


(Stanton) #21

Nicolai? The score is from (and credited to) Carlo Rustichelli, the man for the more unusual soundtracks. This one with greetings from Gustav Mahler.

I like it.


(scherpschutter) #22

[quote=“stanton, post:21, topic:271”]Nicolai? The score is from (and credited to) Carlo Rustichelli, the man for the more unusual soundtracks. This one with greetings from Gustav Mahler.

I like it.[/quote]

My fault. Probably not the last one I’ll make in my life.

Mahler? I don’t dislike him, although I prefer Bruckner.
Anyway, I thought it wasn’t appropriate for a SW.


(Stanton) #23

Yes, it’s sort of different, but I think the score works very well in several scenes.

I have seen A minute … about 15 years ago for the 1st time, and I liked it then only partially, but there was one unbelievable, melancholic scene with this Mahler like music, with Alex Cord marching down a stonepath in Escondido. When I saw the film again last year I looked desperately for this scene, but it wasn’t there! Fuck!
Not in the german, not in the english version. Trick of the mind? Different german version? Probably the first. But I’m remembering watching this scene endlessly before erasing the VHS recording.

Except for the end there was at least one more scene which wasn’t in the 4 min longer english version.

Hoping for an uncut release in the near future with great expectations.


(Col. Douglas Mortimer) #24

On the back of the MGM box it says: “Great Atmosphere” - Leonard Maltin.

Gee, I didn’t know a mainstream critic like good ol’ Leo would have things good to say about SW’s.

that sucks about the cuts Stanton. that scene you described sounds rather cool.


(Mannaja) #25

I have the 118 min version on DVD-R, off of Japanese TV, but even this one is not complete; it lacks several scenes that the MGM DVD contains! I have estimated that the full running time, if the MGM scenes were to be inserted into the 118 min version, would be something around two hours fifteen minutes. Would really like to see a release of that… :stuck_out_tongue:


(Stanton) #26

135 min, that’s really a long Spaghetti.

This japanese version, does it have english audio?


(Phil H) #27

Finally got around to this one and on the whole enjoyed it but thought it had far more potential than was realised.
Like Scherp I wasn’t quite sold on the music score. It was good music but I wasn’t quite sure it was right for the film. The cast was good and I liked the story with its ‘handicapped hero’ theme. I always enjoy these storylines where the main character is struggling against some physical impediment.(e.g Minnesota Clay going blind etc) so all in all pretty good.
The main fault I had with it was the patchy editing which left the whole film unevenly paced. However, with all the obvious cuts made maybe this is a fault caused by later tampering rather than poor workmanship to begin with. I certainly felt the ending could have been worked better but on hearing of an alternative ending in existance, again maybe this was not Giraldi’s fault. (I have the region 1 MGM version by the way so no extras or alternative ending to check out)
All in all though a pretty decent effort if not earth shattering. Solid 3 star for me.


(scherpschutter) #28

I agree with you that solid three star rating.

The editing certainly looks patchy, but with at least twenty minutes missing, that’s not a big surprise.
I don’t know if there is - or ever has been - a version with a total running time of over two hours, like Mannaja suggests, but a more complete release, with some of the scenes in Escondido (described by Stanton) inserted, would certainly be welcome.

  • spoiler ahead *

The ‘longer’ ending, starts where the MGM version ends, with Cord riding out of town.
Two bounty hunters are waiting for him so he’s shot off his horse; while crawling and stumbling he’s shot some four or five times more, in a scene that must have shocked many viewers (not to mention censors) in those days, and still remains quite sadistic today, probably because this film has - unlike most contemporary shockers - a ‘human edge’ and we want Cord to survive.


(Phil H) #29

Sounds like a better ending than we actually get but not sure it would work too well either. After everything leading up to the amnesty it would make it all a bit pointless.
But this whole cut version thing is normal for spaghettis I guess. I don’t know if there are any films from this genre which were ever released in their entirety. It’s just that some suffer worse than others.


(SARTANA DJANGO BALLADS) #30

I follow the arguments about different running times and alternative endings in SWs.
Speaking for myself what I prefer to see in All SWs is :

  1. The LONGEST possible running time and completeness of the film.
  2. The HAPPIEST possible ending that rewards the viewer with justice/good
    triumphing over evil. It is NOT satisfactory for example if RICHARD HARRISON
    is pursuing the scum killers that slaughtered his wife/family and he fails to get even.
    This is also important because the SW has give out a MESSAGE /COMMENT on life. :smiley:

(ENNIOO) #31

Negative ending man myself 100%, and hope to see the negative ending version someday.


(scherpschutter) #32

[quote=“SARTANA DJANGO, post:30, topic:271”]I follow the arguments about different running times and alternative endings in SWs.
Speaking for myself what I prefer to see in All SWs is :

  1. The LONGEST possible running time and completeness of the film.
  2. The HAPPIEST possible ending that rewards the viewer with justice/good
    triumphing over evil. It is NOT satisfactory for example if RICHARD HARRISON
    is pursuing the scum killers that slaughtered his wife/family and he fails to get even.
    This is also important because the SW has give out a MESSAGE /COMMENT on life. :D[/quote]

I have mixed ideas on both statements:

ad 1. Of course I always like to see the longest version of a film, but I don’t think the longest is necessarily the best version. I had mixed feelings about the longer version of GBU; Okay, Lee’s part and character were a bit fleshed out (a good thing), but some scenes didn’t add much to the movie, others were even a bit silly (the scene at the riverside in which Clint shoots one of Lee’s men). I already talked about the Italian version of ONCE … : that version is some 15 mns longer but most people (me included) don’t think it’s better than the international (MGM) version. Others have stated that the longer version of Apocalypse Now is a real let-down (don’t like the movie, so have no opinion), and people have been discussing for years about the different versions of Blade Runner and Alien : usually the shorter director’s cut of the movies is preferred.

ad 2. I think Peckinpah said something like ‘The western is an universal frame in which you can comment on today’. I have nothing against comments (in fact I think nearly all art of value is a comment some way or another, but I’m aware some people won’t agree) but I’m not very fond of messages. Film, or art in general, should be reflective, not didactic, and a flimmakers should be perceptive, not moralistic. Art must be challenging, I don’t believe it has a constructive mission (it had such a mission within national socialism and marxism, and still has such a mission within Islam).
Sometimes a happy ending is preferable, sometimes a tragic one. In case of a genuine revenge movie, type Il Ritorno di Ringo or Oggi a me, domani a te! it would be quite bizarre if the avenger wouldn’t get even, but sometimes things aren’t that clear and filmmakers can vary on themes that are (over)familiar, the ending of Da Uomo a uomo/Death rides a horse is a perfect example: at first the film seems a genuine revenge movie, but there is an essential complication involving Van Cleef. Sette dollari sul Rosso is another, quite bizarre, variation on the revenge theme : it’s the not so happy ending that sets the film apart.
And I couldn’t imagine Il grande Silenzio without the tragic ending, but maybe for you that ending is precisely the reason for disliking (or not wholeheartedly loving) it …


(Phil H) #33

I definitely don’t believe that the longest is always the best. Unlike you Scherp, I am a fan of Apocalypse Now, and the Redux longer version is not an improvement on the original in my opinion. On the contrary, some of the extra scenes add nothing to the film as a whole and I believe the pace of the original is far better.


(Cian) #34

I agree. A few of the shorter extra scenes added to the film a bit, but most of the extra footage was irrelevant. The French colonists in particular came across as a Peter Sellers/Inspector Cleaseau tribute act!


(alk0) #35

Those extra scenes with surfing board were also incredibly awkward i think.


(scherpschutter) #36

It’s probably not the right place to discuss this movie, so I’ll keep it short.

I’ve seen it twice and don’t really hate it, but found it very pompous.
The helicopter attack is great and there are some compelling moments along the trip, but that’s exactly what I thought it was: a trip. It was perhaps meant to look or feel like one (I could imagine that Coppola saw the whole Vietnam war as one seemingly endless trip). Visually it’s all stunning but it loses focus rather soon and goes overboard in an overblown finale, with the slaughter of an ox (I think it was an ox) and a driveling and stammering Brando.
But I have the idea that there are a lot of fans of the movie here …

By the way: I read the book, so I know where this ‘the horror, the horror’ comes from.


(ENNIOO) #37

I find Apocalypse Now a very long winded film, and why this film is so highly rated is beyond me, as their are far better examples from the genre.


(SARTANA DJANGO BALLADS) #38

A MINUTE TO PRAY A SECOND TO DIE 1968 is a key SW from the 60s.
Alex Cord is superb in his role and Robert Ryan /Nicoletta Macchiavelli excel also.

I also found “Apocalypse now” very tedious, slow, overlong, predictable, forgettable.
I have no hesitation or doubt whatsoever that the BEST EVER WAR FILM for me is :

THE MERCENARIES / DARK OF THE SUN 1968 Directed By ; Jack Cardiff

ROD TAYLOR YVETTE MIMIEUX JIM BROWN Peter Carsten Andre Morell

There are at least 10 memorable/great scenes of humanity/cruelty/sacrifice/loyalty
There is an Electric screen bond between ROD TAYLOR / YVETTE MIMIEUX, magic.
There is a plot (from Wilbur Smith novel)/Direction/music/settings which are absolute
There is a classic “mercenary” bond / loyalty between ROD TAYLOR/ JIM BROWN.
There is a very sad, catastrophic SW style ending with much honour, dignity, death.

Watch THE MERCENARIES 1968 and see it all for yourself… :smiley:


(Garko Forever) #39

THE MERCENARIES / DARK OF THE SUN is an excellent movie on all counts!! Couldn’t agree with you more, Sartana Django. I think any SW fan would find plenty to like about it!


(scherpschutter) #40

Right.

THE MERCENARIES/DARK OF THE SUN or, as it was called in Belgium (understandable if you know or colonial past) LAST TRAIN TO KATANGA is a great, violent, exciting war movie.

And yes, most SW fans will find plenty to like about it.
Spaghetti westerns, at least the gritty ones, were typical products of the era they were made in, the sixties, and so is this film.
I won’t say it has a SW feeling, but the tough action and the cynical (anti-)heroes certainly are in the SW league.

Highly recommended !