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Their First Execution (1913)

 -  Short | Comedy  -  15 May 1913 (USA)
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A new electric chair has been installed in the prison, and the officials impatiently await the first execution. The victim, with careless disregard for their feelings, makes his escape from... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview:
...
Tall Prison Guard
Raymond Hatton ...
Short Prison Guard
Ford Sterling ...
First Deputy
Charles Avery ...
2nd Deputy
Nick Cogley ...
Warden
Edgar Kennedy ...
Cop
Bert Hunn ...
Convict
Josef Swickard ...
Governor
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Storyline

A new electric chair has been installed in the prison, and the officials impatiently await the first execution. The victim, with careless disregard for their feelings, makes his escape from the prison. The sleuth goes in pursuit, and finding the discarded convict's garb dons it as a disguise, hoping to meet the hunted man and ingratiate himself. Prison guards capture the sleuth, and disliking to disappoint the waiting crowd, decide to execute him. He is placed in the chair and the current turned on, but he stubbornly resists death. The current is doubled and trebled, to no avail. Meanwhile the real criminal has been captured, and he is brought back in time to save the sleuth from his perilous position. Written by Moving Picture World synopsis

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Plot Keywords:

electric chair

Genres:

Short | Comedy

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Release Date:

15 May 1913 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Amateur Executioners  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

 
Electrifying Performance
12 November 2008 | by (New York City) – See all my reviews

The prison staff is all atwitter because it's going to be their first execution using the new electric chair and the governor is coming for the show. But their prisoner escapes and in the usual Keystone mix-up, they capture sleuth Ford Sterling and strap him into Old Sparky....

Sterling was probably Keystone's biggest star at this point and although he doesn't appear in his 'Dutch' personna here, he does some of his extreme mugging. So, the question for this movie is: does Sterling's mugging as a nominal five thousand volts of direct current being pumped into him strike the audience as funny, or is the idea of being electrocuted frightening enough to make this one merely bizarre? Keystone had a specialty of these extreme comedies and no doubt this one played well enough to keep it in circulation for a while. I find it rather disheartening, but do wish they had remade it with Ham & Bud and ten thousand volts .... each.


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