The story of Caryl Chessman, a convicted California rapist who spent 12 years on death row before finally being executed.

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Nominated for 1 Primetime Emmy. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Judge Fricke
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Virginia Gibbons
Edward Mallory
Walter McGinn ...
J. Miller Leavy
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Bill Edmunds
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Judge Lewis Goodman
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Johnson
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Sarah Loper
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Mrs. Asher
Brian Byers ...
Harris
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Mr. Lea
George Sperdakos ...
Court Clerk
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Storyline

The story of Caryl Chessman, a convicted California rapist who spent 12 years on death row before finally being executed.

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Biography | Drama

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25 September 1977 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Caryl Chessman Story  »

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1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Goofs

The film's final credits do name the character played by Tony Burton as "Price," but this character seems to be based on Robert Otis *Pierce* who was executed at San Quentin on April 6, 1956 and the disturbing circumstances of whose execution as reported in various sources fit in many particulars with what is depicted in the movie. Since the actual names of other real-life persons portrayed in this movie--not the least of which Chessman's are accurately reproduced, it may be surmised that "Price" in the credits is an error for "Pierce." See more »

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User Reviews

 
An innocent man?
23 July 2003 | by (Muskogee OK) – See all my reviews

Alan Alda's super performance dominates this story of Caryl Chessman, who was arrested in Los Angeles in 1948 as the Red-Light Bandit. Flashing a red light resembling that used by the police, the "Bandit" would approach victims parked in lonely spots to rob the men and rape the women. Chessman spent 12 years on death row due to many counts of robbery, kidnapping and rape. After writing four books from Cell 2455, Chessman was executed in San Quentin's gas chamber in 1960. Alda conveyed the cockiness and arrogance of the convicted rapist who always exclaimed his innocence.

Sometimes a little sluggish at two hours, but interesting due to the uncanny portrayal by Alda. Also in the cast are:Talia Shire, James Sikking and John Hillerman. Above average crime drama.


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