6.2/10
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17 user 18 critic

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".

Director:

Jack Smight

Writer:

Garrie Bateson
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Stacy Keach ... Jonas Candide
Marianna Hill ... Gundred Herzallerliebst (as Mariana Hill)
Bud Cort ... Jimmy
Graham Jarvis ... Doc Prittle
James Sloyan ... Piquant (as James J. Sloyan)
M. Emmet Walsh ... Warden Brodski
John Bottoms John Bottoms ... Lawyer
Ford Rainey ... Stanley Mae
James Greene ... Gravey Combs
Sam Reese Sam Reese ... Priest (as Sammy Reese)
Stefan Gierasch ... Willy Herzallerliebst
Logan Ramsey ... La Follette
Charles Tyner ... Virgil
William Mims William Mims ... Lynn
Val Avery ... Jake
Edit

Storyline

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

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Western

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

23 June 1972 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Bödeln See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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

Goofs

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 »

Connections

Referenced in Adjust Your Tracking (2013) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Shows the humanity that can be brought to any profession
19 December 2005 | by gregory-81See all my reviews

This movie made a huge impact when I saw it in the theater. I was a tough (or so I thought) eighteen year old young man here in Vancouver when I saw it in 1970. I think that it might have played for a week.

I loved the humanity and charm that Stacy Keach brought to the executioner's role. I remember the loving way that he would sooth the fears of the condemned as they faced the terrors to come. It was a job that had to be done, and if he was the one to do it, he demanded craftsmanship and style.

The ending caught a deep nerve and I cried as I left and walked home. (It remains the only film that I can say that about). It is amazing how a film that is almost unknown has remained so brilliant in my mind.

I suspect that I might give it a higher rating if I ever saw it again.


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