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A Minute to Pray, A Second to Die DVD review

From The Spaghetti Western Database

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This review is based on the American (Region 1) DVD which reportedly has an alternative (happy) ending compared to other versions. Click here to view our article entry of A Minute to Pray, A Second to Die

Story

McCord is a gunman who suffers from epileptic attacks on his arm which makes it hard to shoot, so he tries to quti his dangerous lifestyle. Trying to find a doctor he joins a bunch of outcasts in Escondido struggling for survival, while in the local town, the Sheriff is welcoming criminals of all sorts for an amnesty that was proclaimed by the governor of New Mexico. But McCort is wanted, and bounty hunters are after him to get the reward before he can even get amnesty, and so is the Marshall who is pursuing a road block policy to besiege the outcasts. After an unsuccessful attempt of McCord to get amnesty, he recovers from his wounds in Escondido, tended by a beautiful girl, while at the same time the governor himself comes to town to lift the siege on Escondido and quit the Marshalls hypocritical policy. But now the militant bandids among the outcast, who hold a grudge against McCord are between him and the Amnesty promised by the governor, now his only friend and it turns out a hard fight to freedom.

Opinion

The film is surpisingly good. It boasts an excellent score by Carlo Rustichelli, some really gritty action, a good story and some solid acting - including a surprise cameo (well more than a cameo) by Robert Ryan. It's a shame Nicoletta Machiavelli has such a short part though. The cinematography is standard and makes the film look very American, but the action makes up for it. A really gripping tale, an enjoyable Spaghetti Western and definitely underrated.

the DVD

MGM presents the film in a letterboxed version which seems to be not the original format but at least it is not cropped much and the quality is quite good. There is lots of grain and occasional compression artefacts but the picture is vivid and has acceptable contrast. Overall the image quality is decent. The audio that is provided is the english dub which is really good and its mono presentation doesn't leave anything to complain about. There is lack of bass and some of the action scenes sound a bit hollow but it's an overall good presentation. There are no extras on the disc besides subtitles in Spanish, French and English.

Bottom line

The DVD offers good quality, but no extras and only the happy ending. The film is great and a must see. For the price of only about 10 bucks this is highly recommended.

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