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


(El Topo) #81

I was reading this thread from the start and, Dark of the Sun better than Apocalipse Now… :o some strange stuff going around here, and I even like Dark of the sun one of the few movies I saw with my father (he said that those parabellum and Sten paratrooper machine guns, are not of very good use in the African warfare, they are good weapons for close range, not for the jungle)

Well but let’s talk about this movie, good but far from being a classic. I got very different feelings when I was seing this film, sometimes it looked like a normal American western others like a regular SW, it does not even look like one of those american western shot in Almeria.
Alex Cord goes well in the main part playing the disturbed hero, but I do feel the lack of some SW “grinta” that only more SW can brought to an actor. Robert Ryan it’s a little bit wasted on the film in my view, it look like the guy was passing by and join in at the last moment.
In any case always an interesting film to see of so strange it is, at the begining I was a little confused with the story I confesed, but soon the film does go to right on track, or at least doesn’t go off the tracks, it’s a good spag but could have been better, it got me confused in every aspect sometimes looked like ALmeria scenario others Italy, weird wierd very weird.
Didn’t like the soundtrack also, to me it looked like some bad Shadows rip off
Diferent SW, watchable without the lost of time sensantion, but like I said not a classic, and it’s a pitty with Robert Ryan in it.


(Silvanito) #82

Did someone manage to put together a fan-version using both the Japanese and the MGM disc?


(ENNIOO) #83

Not as far as I know. I sent the Japanese version to Autephex some while ago who in time is going to make a composite version.


(Silvanito) #84

Ok so you got hold of this Jap disc at least

Reading the thread it seems there were some difficulties at first re this


(Stanton) #85

Have you compared both versions?


(ENNIOO) #86

No.


(Handcuffs68) #87

The first time i saw this over a year ago, i didn’t think much of it. I believe i was in a bad mood at the time. But recently i rewatched it in a much better mood and i must admit, this is a good solid western. A. Cord is good in this, too bad he didn’t stick around to do a couple more spagh’s, he had the face for it. R.Ryan show’s up about an hour later, but he was effective in his role. All in all a very good western, top 20 or 30 list for sure. Would love to see a complete uncut version of this someday. :’(


(autephex) #88

Actually I’ve just finished a comparison between the two cuts, and combining all scenes results in a final runtime of 118min 19seconds. Upon initial glance, the only scene I’m aware of contained in the MGM release but not the Japanese version is towards the beginning. There is a scene where McCord puts a gun to a man’s head and takes his hat and this scene is cut from the Japanese version. However the Japanese version has approximately 5 minutes of intro & blank footage before the actual start of the film. So in reality, the total runtime of the Japanese recording is longer than the film itself- and quite interestingly the length of the two cuts combined turns out to be exactly the same even with the additional scene and the Japanese blank intro footage removed.


(RamonRed) #89

I just watched this film last week and really enjoyed it. While Alex Cord isn’t the most charasmatic actor in the world, I thought he was good in the lead. I thought the acting overall was well done, especially Robert Ryan and Arthur Kennedy. The atmosphere of the film was great. It was dark, with a sense of impending doom for Clay McCord. 4 Stars!


(Stanton) #90

I have a 113 min version from British TV (still only on VHS). As it must be a Pal version the actual runtime would be 118 min.
I also spotted only that one different scene (well actually 2 scenes which follow directly after the credit sequence) on the MGM disc, and this missing part runs about 3 min.
A redux runtime would then be 121 min.

Several Japanese DVDs of SWs have also Pal runtimes, despite Japan being a NTSC country, but I doubt that a TV version would be in Pal. But either way there is somehow still a difference!


(autephex) #91

The Japanese TV cut I have is NTSC, 118 minutes and that time includes the almost 5 minutes of intro/black footage at the start. This would make the overall runtime of the actual film about 113 minutes.

Does the British TV version also contain this “empty footage” at the start, or is it a full 118 minutes of the actual film itself? Might also check to see if there is any non-film footage at the very end, after the credits.

If the British TV version is 118min of just the film, then perhaps it is the missing link.

Something else to consider is that there are quite a few very small differences in the US MGM & Japenese edits. The US MGM version cuts several scenes a bit shorter, by just a couple seconds or so. It does this many times throughout the entire film. All of these added together would most likely equal out to any of the remaining few minutes in question. While I attempted to include even the very short cuts in my comparison, it was at times unfeasible to do so because of being such a small difference. So basically I would say its quite likely this is the source of the missing time. But again, it all depends largely on that first 5 minutes and if its the same on the British 118m recording.


(ENNIOO) #92

Interesting stuff.


(Stanton) #93

[quote=“autephex, post:91, topic:271”]The Japanese TV cut I have is NTSC, 118 minutes and that time includes the almost 5 minutes of intro/black footage at the start. This would make the overall runtime of the actual film about 113 minutes.

Does the British TV version also contain this “empty footage” at the start, or is it a full 118 minutes of the actual film itself? Might also check to see if there is any non-film footage at the very end, after the credits.

If the British TV version is 118min of just the film, then perhaps it is the missing link.

Something else to consider is that there are quite a few very small differences in the US MGM & Japenese edits. The US MGM version cuts several scenes a bit shorter, by just a couple seconds or so. It does this many times throughout the entire film. All of these added together would most likely equal out to any of the remaining few minutes in question. While I attempted to include even the very short cuts in my comparison, it was at times unfeasible to do so because of being such a small difference. So basically I would say its quite likely this is the source of the missing time. But again, it all depends largely on that first 5 minutes and if its the same on the British 118m recording.[/quote]

I do not have the exact runtime cause it is interrupted several times by commercials. But I measured somehow the about 113 min, which correspondents to 118 min theatrical, which is the uncut runtime from the Annica.It site.

But it is quite interesting that there are at least 2 English versions containing different scenes.


(autephex) #94

After thinking about this some more, I remembered that at the end of this scene on the US MGM disc it cuts away using a screen “flip” method - at approximately 5.23 mins the scene ends and the frame flips around as it cuts to the next scene. The people who made this edit/dvd used this “flip” trick several times when they cut out larger scenes. When I first saw this, I thought I had missed a cut scene so I went back to the Japanese version and looked, and did not find any additional scenes here. Since this entire scene is actually cut from the Japanese recording, perhaps there is an additional segment on the British version at the end of this scene? Or maybe there is another version out there that has the missing footage.

I’m not 100% certain there is something missing here, but the “flipping” cut seems to indicate that there is, as it was the editor’s way of transitioning out of a scene when they decided to cut something.

Also, I thought some more about the slightly shorter scenes mentioned above, and although there are some that should account for some of the missing time, it doesn’t seem like it would account for whole minutes as these short clips are so brief. It would take quite a lot of these little clips to add up to multiple minutes worth of time.

One additional item not previously considered though is the MGM logo in the beginning, which accounts for around 10 seconds I think. This 10 seconds combined with the short clips I decided not to include would perhaps add up to maybe half a minute- although I cannot say for sure.

Apologies for getting so into the details. Just trying to get to the bottom of all this. I’d say this missing end segment to the above flipping scene is the best lead.


(ENNIOO) #95

Can now transfer vhs to dvd r, so if you ever want it transferred let me know.


(autephex) #96

Any chance on getting a screenshot of that version, Stanton? I’m interested to compare video quality to the Japanese version.

Here’s a few screens of the Japanese video and maybe you can see if the quality is same/better/worse.




I could also upload a short video clip for comparison


(Stanton) #97

To come back to this.

The picture quality is not better, probably worse.
But your Japanese version seems to have a correct open matte 1,33:1 aspect ratio (similar to my German TV version), while my English 1,33:1 TV version cuts off a lot on all sides, which means it is not open matte. The MGM masks a lot at top and bottom for the 16:9 (1,85:1) aspect ratio, which is maybe the correct cinema aspect ratio (or should it be 1,66:1?)

My English version starts with an Columbia logo (instead of MGM) and has Italian credits, but astonishingly the title in the credits calls the film Dove vai ti ammazzo instead of Un Minuto per pregare, un istante per morire. Which seems to be an alternating Italian title. Never heard of it.
Aute, which title is on the Japanese version?

The flip cuts of the MGM are really odd.
For the scene at the beginning in which Cord and his buddy leave the store an alternative/earlier shot of the store keeper was reused, cause the store keeper was at that point smirched by broken eggs in the longer version, and that would have lead in the shorter MGM version to an continuity error.


(autephex) #98

The Japanese version also has the Columbia logo and the title of Dove vai ti ammazzo (Dead or Alive)

Interesting about the title, I had not noticed this before


(Stanton) #99

Then I assume that these are the same versions.

Japanese DVDs of SWs have very often a Pal runtime, even if Japan has actually NTSC as TV norm. They probaby used Italian masters instead of mastering the films themselves.

The actual runtime of my English version is 113:32 min. But there are a few sec difference where the commercials were cut out and the film ends immediately after the screen turns black and cuts off the still running score.

This would make nearly exactly a theatrical runtime of 118 min.

Oh, and actually my version is an anamorphic one, but the anamorphic flag does not work correctly, so that on my old TV I had only a squeezed 1,33:1 image, while on my new TV I can adjust it to the correct 1,78:1.
Same aspect ratio then as the MGM disc, but that one is only letterboxed.

So the combined runtime would be 115:52 Min (or 120:20 if it all was in NTSC). Now I’m wondering how you got 118:19 if the only different scenes on the MGM are the 2:20 Min directly after the credits, and you have lost some short pieces here and there.


(autephex) #100

The Japanese recording I have is NTSC with a framerate of 29.976FPS

The MGM disc has a “fake” NTSC framerate of 29.976FPS - that is, it is actually 23.976 FPS(film) but has a 3:2 pulldown inserted to “fake” the 29.976 FPS. I believe the runtime still reflects the 29.976 framerate though.