Five Minutes to Love (1963)





Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

The exploitative crime caper Five Minutes to Love takes place largely in a San Diego junkyard. Paul Leder plays the junkyard's owner, who maintains a profitable sideline in stolen vehicles. When the cops begin bearing down, Leder sets up innocent motorist Will Gregory as the fall guy. Beaten nearly senseless by a corrupt police sergeant, Gregory is freed when Leder selects another patsy, auto mechanic King Moody. The finale offers plenty of bloodshed, with both Gregory and Leder dishing it out and taking it. Watch for a young Rue McClanahan as "Poochie, the girl from the shacks." Five Minutes to Love was originally released as The Rotten Apple.
Directed By:
Written By:
Headliner Productions


Paul Leder
as Harry
Rue McClanahan
as Sally `Poochie'
King Moody
as Blowhard
Geraldine Leder
as Daughter

Critic Reviews for Five Minutes to Love

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Audience Reviews for Five Minutes to Love


This is the sort of movie that makes sitting through trash so enjoyable. Oh, sure, [i]Five Minutes to Love[/i] is trash, but it's grandiosely hyperdramatic bayou trash with a great exploitation pedigree, an embarassing future star performance and enough overwrought dialogue to keep any camp movie fan in stitches. It comes off like the cinematic bastard child of Tennessee Williams and Coleman Francis, and it manages to be so simultaneously lurid and laughable that you just can't turn away. Ben and Edna are a young couple traveling to San Diego with their baby. Their car breaks down, and Ben goes off to find a new starter. He comes across a junkyard run by Harry, a deranged rich voyeur who claims to have the part he needs, but wants him to do push-ups first. When Ben refuses, Harry sends him to go have a beer with Poochie, a "crazy damned whore" who lives in a shack behind the junkyard, played by Rue McClanahan. Yep, that's future Golden Girl McClanahan playing a sad, deluded nutcase prostitute who responds to a question about her being Harry's girlfriend with "If you mean, am I a girl, yes, I'm a girl... Don't you believe it?" McClanahan actually pulls off the most sympathetic performance in the film, mostly because everyone else just tries to outdo each other with their over-the-top acting. Take Harry, for example. Harry is played by Paul Leder, who also co-wrote the film. (Leder later wrote and directed [i]A*P*E[/i] and [i]I Dismember Mama[/i], and this serves as a fitting warm-up for the silliness yet to come in his career.) Leder has given himself lines like "I ain't got no criminal intentions, except crime," and delivers each line as though he's angry not just at the person he's saying it to, but at every stinking human being on the planet. Even when someone just says something simple to him, he responds by yelling and screaming at the top of his lungs. Harry's got his own issues, too, as he seems to be a voyeur and peeps in on his (male) employees taking off their shirts. And as for his male emplolyees, well, there's Blowhard (seriously), a dumb pothead ox played by King Moody who says things like "A woman don't have the facts to know what their brains tell 'em about nothin'!" and stomps around absent-brainedly. Occasionally Blowhard will engage in dialogue with his fellow car stealer, a brainy poet type who quotes Nietzche, goes off onto insane tangents at the mention of paper, has a long monologue about apples and seems to have tailored his entire performance off of James Dean's "You're tearing me apart" freak-out scene in [i]Rebel Without a Cause[/i]. Not to be outdone, our two leads are no slackers in the overacting department either, easily holding their own in inexplicable screaming matches with the junkyard denizens that would make perfect sense in a David Lynch movie, especially the brief dance number. Even the film itself seems confused, giving the whole thing a (good) near-comical jazz score, even during a violent almost-rape scene. It's deliciously goofy stuff, delivered so self-seriously that it's impossible to take it at face value. The plot twists around almost randomly, with Ben getting framed for Harry's worker's crimes as Harry blackmails a cop in a courtroom that's almost as unconvincing as the plane set from [i]Plan 9.[/i] Most of it, thankfully, takes place in the junkyard, on the road or in Poochie's pathetic little hut, and the whole thing is so needlessly dramatic that you can practically smell the cheap whiskey the film seems to have been dipped in. The last twenty minutes or so drag a little, but most of the running time features at least one completely insane character on screen, and that's worth more entertainment value than most of the crap I sit through. Fans of regional hypermelodrama shouldn't miss it, and exploitation fans should know that it's co-written by William Norton ([i]Big Bad Mama, Gator, Day of the Animals[/i]) and directed by John Hayes, who later made the Christopher Lee obscurity [i]End of the World,[/i] the Kevin Costner flick[i] Fandango[/i] and the brilliantly titled [i]Jailbait Babysitter[/i].

Paul Freitag
Paul Freitag

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