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Professor Herbert Morrison is on death row awaiting his sentence to go through. His lawyer is trying to get a last-minute stay of execution but the professor says he doesn't want a reprieve.


Paul Henreid


Bill S. Ballinger (teleplay by), Bryce Walton (based on a story by)


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Episode cast overview:
Alfred Hitchcock ... Himself - Host
Brian Keith ... Herbert Morrison
James Best ... Hennessy (as James K. Best)
James Westerfield ... Pops Lafferty
Frank Maxwell ... Maury Berg
Liam Sullivan ... Father McCann
Sal Ponti ... De Baca
Harry Raybould Harry Raybould ... Holt
Robert Carson ... Warden Elvery


While most of his fellow prisoners on death row spend their time hoping for a stay of execution, the occupant of Cell 227 waxes philosophical about the role of the prison system and the difference between a person murdering another and the State murdering someone. The professor says he's innocent and has told his lawyer not to pursue a stay of execution as he will only accept a full pardon. When the time of his execution arrives, he attacks a guard he's taken a dislike to, just as the Warden arrives with interesting news. Written by garykmcd

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Release Date:

5 June 1960 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


When the priest is reciting the 23rd Psalm as Morrison walks to the chamber, his lips do not match the words. See more »

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User Reviews

Pardon or Nothing
2 August 2012 | by sol-kaySee all my reviews

***SPOILERS*** Soon to be executed for a crime, the murder of a female student, that he swears that he didn't commit English professor Herbert Morrison, Brian Keith, is determined to die with dignity and not beg his jailers at the prison for his life in order to get a stay of execution. All that would do Morrison tells his fellow death row inmate Hannessy, James Best, is to prolong his suffering until he's finally gassed to death. All Morrison wants a full pardon exonerating him of of the crime he's been charged with and nothing else.

With the time for him to take a trip in to the gas chamber quickly dwindling down Morrison's hatred of the guard Pops Cafferity, James Westerfield, who leads condemned men like himself into the little green room becomes almost incontrollable. More then willing to meet his fate as well as his maker Morrison just can't stand the fact that Pops is getting his jollies in seeing him die just like he did when the young and terrified convicted murderer De Baca, Sal Ponti, died in the execution room the week before. It's just before he was to be strapped into the gas chamber that the cool as a cucumber Morrison suddenly flipped out attacking and breaking Pops neck killing him.

***SPOILERS*** Unknown to Morrison is that his lawyer Murray Bird, Frank Maxwell, got word to prison Warden Everly, Robert Carson, that the real killer of the person whom he was convicted of murdering confessed to his crime. Thus having Morrison being granted a full pardon which is what he always wanted! But with a new murder charge now hanging over his head all Morrison can do is wait from the enviable, the trip to the gas chamber, but that won't be the instant fix that he want's it to be! It would takes him some two to three years of both suffering on death row and realizing just what a jerk he was to make that all become a reality.

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