Tales from the Crypt: Season 1, Episode 1

The Man Who Was Death (10 Jun. 1989)

TV Episode  |  Not Rated  |   |  Comedy, Crime, Horror
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.4/10 from 751 users  
Reviews: 14 user | 5 critic

After the death penalty is abolished, an executioner continues his former job through freelancing...



(screenplay), (screenplay)
0Check in

Watch Now

From $1.99 on Amazon Video

1 of 93 Episodes | Next Episode »




Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Niles Talbot (as Bill Sadler)
J.W. Smith ...
Charley Ledbetter
Roy Brocksmith ...
Warden Havers
Theodore Carne
Dani Minnick ...
Cynthia Baldwin
Distraught Woman
Robert Winley ...
Jimmy Flood
Judge #1
Edgar Small ...
Judge #2
Mark Lowenthal ...
District Attorney
F.J. O'Neil ...
Jury Foreman (as Raymond O'Conner)
Jennifer Evans ...
Newscaster #1 (as M. Jennifer Evans)


After working for two years in the electric workshop of a penitentiary, the electrician Niles Talbot has been promoted to executioner, operating an electric chair, and he appreciates his job. When the death penalty is abolished in his state, Niles loses his job. But he decides to become a vigilante, punishing criminals that are released by justice system. Until the day that the death penalty is implemented again in the state. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

10 June 1989 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Walter Hill agreed to give William Sadler the lead only if he vowed to perform it exactly as he had for the audition. See more »


Niles Talbot: The old rule: treat whores like queens and queens like whores.
See more »


Tales from the Crypt Theme
Composed by Danny Elfman
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Guess Who Won't Be Pulling' the Switch This Time
9 October 2008 | by (Iowa, United States) – See all my reviews

Tales from the Crypt, season one, begins with a bang...or a jolt,as it were.

The Man Who Was Death features William Sadler as Niles Talbot, a seasoned executioner who is out of a job when the death penalty is abolished. Angered that all the injustice in the city, Niles takes to the streets and begins to give criminal scum their just desserts...but will it ultimately be Niles who will be judged.

The episode is flawless, a masterpiece of anthology. In a rarity, the main character breaks the fourth wall and talks directly to the audience the entire time. It also has a nice noir-feel to it.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Every Halloween HBO.... SonnybytheSea
Don't hate me for asking but.... cubstml
Explicit sex scenes - which episodes? pilarp-1
Cutting Cards Episode cubstml
help with two episodes smileyking1975
As Ye Sow Possible Cameo.... cubstml
Discuss The Man Who Was Death (1989) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: