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
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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

Although it was a box-office failure in 1970 and has been little-seen since, this movie was much admired by John Huston, who cast Stacy Keach in two of his own films after seeing it. 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

 
Unusual cult movie .......
25 January 2017 | by merklekranzSee all my reviews

This is not your average "black comedy". The subject, electric chair executions, is dark, there is no "feel good" ending, and the entire film teeters on bad taste. Nevertheless this is certainly fertile ground for some dark comedic moments. The acting is especially good for what had to be a daring MGM low budget film that was likely to have difficulty finding an audience. Practically unseen for many years, the remastered edition DVD from the Warner Brothers Archive Collection looks great. Stacy Keach is convincing as the sympathetic executioner. Marianna Hill barely makes an impression as the condemned love interest. Bud Cort, M. Emmet Walsh, and Charles Tyner appear in supporting roles. "The Travelling Executioner" is a somewhat unpredictable, somewhat uneven, "black comedy" that deserves cult status because of the daring subject matter. - MERK


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