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The Traveling Executioner (1970)

Stacy Keach is electrifying as Jonas Candide, an ex-Carny who in 1918 travels around the bayou with a portable electric chair. At $100 a head, he renders his services with loving care. But then he falls for a female "client".




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Cast overview, first billed only:
Jonas Candide
Gundred Herzallerliebst
Doc Prittle
Piquant (as James J. Sloyan)
Warden Brodski
John Bottoms ...
Stanley Mae
Gravey Combs
Sam Reese ...
Priest (as Sammy Reese)
Willy Herzallerliebst
La Follette
William Mims ...


Stacy Keach is electrifying as Jonas Candide, an ex-Carny who in 1918 travels around the bayou with a portable electric chair. At $100 a head, he renders his services with loving care. But then he falls for a female "client".

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


1918. The year this man traveled the South with a portable electric chair.


Comedy | Drama | Western


R | See all certifications »




Release Date:

23 June 1972 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Der reisende Henker  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


Dyan Cannon was originally announced for the female lead. See more »


An important plot point is the existence of a portable electric chair which makes the career of "traveling executioner" possible. Unfortunately, as shown in the movie, it can't work. To perform an execution Keach "starts" a big electric generator in his horse-drawn van. But the generator has no power source! At the time the story takes place the internal combustion engine was new and rudimentary. The only transportable source of mechanical power was the steam engine. There were no diesel powered generators. Of course a steam engine large enough to produce the necessary mechanical power to turn the electric generator would have been almost as large as the van and would have required hours to build up enough steam to do the job. Also, a substantial amount of coal to make the steam would be needed. In any case, no motive power is shown and this explains why there were likely no traveling electrocutionists. Why a remote prison would not simply hang convicted criminals is likewise not explained. See more »


Referenced in Adjust Your Tracking (2013) See more »

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User Reviews

Great little period piece!

Made up of a good story line and cast, I was so happy to find a copy of this film. Also, I am researching the career of Bud Cort, and I knew that there was more to him as an actor than what I saw in "Harold and Maude". He speaks in an adorable southern accent, playing an dedicated but somewhat disillusioned mortician, Jimmy Croft. As one of his best films giving him one of his best supporting roles, I would highly recommend this film. I hope that it ends up on DVD someday.

Interestingly, regarding Bud Cort, I noticed that Stacy Keach, and in a smaller role, Charles Tyner, played in other films with Bud: "Brewster McCloud" (Keach, as 'Abraham Wright') and "Harold and Maude" (Tyner, as 'Uncle Victor').

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