A Minute to Pray, a Second to Die (film)

A Minute to Pray, a Second to Die (Italian: Un minuto per pregare, un istante per morire) is a 1968 Italian Spaghetti Western. It is the fourth and last western directed by Franco Giraldi.[6] It was originally intended as being directed by Sergio Corbucci and the cast was to include also Raffaella Carrà and Renzo Palmer.[6] The American version of the film was heavily cut, with a runtime 16 minutes shorter than the original version and featuring a different ending.[6]

A Minute to Pray, a Second to Die
Italian film poster
Directed byFranco Giraldi
Produced by
Screenplay by
Story by
  • Albert Band
  • Ugo Liberatore[1][2]
Music byCarlo Rustichelli[2]
CinematographyAiace Parolin[2]
Edited byAlberto Gallitti[2]
Distributed by
Release date
  • May 1968, 22 (22-05-1968) (New York City)
Running time
  • 118 minutes (Italy)
  • 103 minutes (US)[3]
Box office$885,000 (US)[5]


Clay McCord is a wanted criminal. He frequently suffers with fits which hinder him to defend himself. His condition seems to deteriorate continuously. Seeking shelter he enters the lawless town Escondido although it is currently under siege by a high-ranked law enforcement officer. There he gets to know the young Laurinda and finds a doctor who discovers the reason for his fits. Unlike he feared he's not epileptic and can be cured for good. Yet he's still an outlaw and that is in the end his downfall.



A Minute to Pray, a Second to Die was released in 1968.[4] According to ABC records, the movie made a loss of $165,000.[5] The film has also been released as Dead or Alive, Outlaw Gun, and Escondido.[4] The film's title was A Minute to Pray, a Second to Die on its distribution in Canada and the United States, while foreign prints, released by Columbia Pictures, extended the film's runtime and featured a different ending.[7]


In a contemporary review, "Murf." of Variety stated that like other Italian Westerns, "brutality is laid on with a trowel, but herein with at least a modicum of taste and plot motivation."[7] A review in the Monthly Film Bulletin noted that "there are moments in this rather rambling Western which suggest that, given a more coherent script, Franco Giraldi might at least emerge as a front runner in the Italian imitation stakes" noting an "imaginatively directed gun battle set in a church" in the beginning of the film.[8]

See alsoEdit



  1. ^ a b c d "Un minuto per pregare, un istante per morire (1967)". BFI. Retrieved 2 October 2019.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "Un minuto per pregare, un istante per morire (1967)" (in Italian). Archiviodelcinemaitaliano.it. Retrieved 18 September 2019.
  3. ^ a b c "A Minute to Pray, a Second to Die (1968)". AFI. Retrieved 2 October 2019.
  4. ^ a b c Grant 2011, p. 449.
  5. ^ a b c "ABC's 5 Years of Film Production Profits & Losses". Variety. 31 May 1973. p. 3.
  6. ^ a b c Marco Giusti. Dizionario del western all'italiana. Mondadori, 2007. p. 546. ISBN 88-04-57277-9.
  7. ^ a b Variety's Film Reviews 1968-1970. 12. R. R. Bowker. 1983. There are no page numbers in this book. This entry is found under the header "May 1, 1968". ISBN 0-8352-2792-8.
  8. ^ "Escondido (Dead or Alive)". Monthly Film Bulletin. Vol. 36 no. 120. British Film Institute. January 1969. p. 9.


External linksEdit