The excellent Edward Binns, (like E. G. Marshall an alum of Reginald Rose's movie adaptation of "12 Angry Men"), plays a man who has spent his entire adult life in a mental hospital. he's now being released because he's 'cured' of the catatonia that put him in there. He tells the doctor that he is afraid to leave because "They're going to kill me". As he leaves he's confronted by two men. But they don't kill him- they handcuff him.
Twenty-five years ago he was convinced by an older guy who was a criminal to help him rob a store. The store owner was killed with the gun Binns was given by his confederate. Both were charged with first degree murder as they were in a "conspiracy". The older guy was executed but Binns had a breakdown and wound up in the mental hospital. He tells the Prestons it would have been better to execute him in 1936, when he had no idea what was going on. "Why did they cure so they can kill me?
They manage to get a hearing to determine if there is a basis for having a new trial, since they have an alternative version of what may have happened. Alfred Ryder, (another one of the excellent character actors of the period), plays a psychiatrist brought in to hypnotize Binns to unearth what really happened form his subconscious.
I love the way Ryder starts the process- not with something shiny and "you are getting sleepy" but with the statement: "Picture a windshield. I am wiping it clean....."
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