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The Sun Sets at Dawn (1950)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 1 November 1950 (USA)
A young man is wrongly convicted and sentenced to be executed. Reporters covering the execution relate the story, each from his own perspective.


(as Paul H. Sloane)


(as Paul H. Sloane)

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Cast overview:
Sally Parr ...
Patrick Waltz ...
Bill - the Boy (as Philip Shawn)
The Chaplain
Lee Frederick ...
Blackie (as Lee Fredericks)
Houseley Stevenson ...
Pops (as Housley Stevenson)
Howard St. John ...
The Warden
Louise Lorimer ...
The Warden's Wife
Raymond Bramley ...
Jim - Deputy Warden
Charles Meredith ...
Reporter, AP
Jack Reynolds ...
Ed - Reporter, EP
Reporter, National News Service
Reporter, Globe Express
Reporter, Herald
Reporter, Feature Syndicate
Perry Ivins ...
Reporter, Forty-Six (as Perry Ivans)


A young man awaits execution on death row for the murder of a political boss. Although h continues to protest his innocence, only his sweetheart, the prison priest, and the warden and his wife believe him. Reporters discuss the case and similar ones, and one of them relates a story that may save the innocent man's life. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Film-Noir


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

1 November 1950 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Le soleil se couche à l'aube  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

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User Reviews

A very effective anti-capital punishment B-movie.
9 August 2014 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

"The Sun Sets at Dawn" is a B-movie. Back in the 1930s-50s, B-movies were meant as a cheap second film in a double-feature. Because they were made quickly and inexpensively, they usually clocked in at about 55-70 minutes, had mostly unknown actors and are often today thought of as bad films. Well, the last part is definitely not true--as some B- movies manage to convey an excellent story and are quite entertaining. This is definitely the case with "The Sun Sets at Dawn", as it's extremely effective and entertaining--even without the frills of an A- picture.

When the film begins, the state is about to execute a young man. He's been convicted of murder and still insists he's not guilty. This much isn't unusual--but what is unusual is that everyone that seems to meet him and his girlfriend believes this as well. But the governor won't stop the scheduled death and it looks pretty hopeless. Can something manage to stop this possible miscarriage of justice?

The movie excels in many ways. The performances are awfully good, the writing quite nice as well (though some today might find some of it a bit heavy-handed) and the story really makes you think twice about the morality of the death penalty--especially in cases where it was never 100% proved that the condemned is actually guilty. Well made and worth seeing.

Incidentally, somehow this film slipped into the public domain and is available for a free download at archive.org.

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