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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".

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Jonas Candide
...
Gundred Herzallerliebst
...
Jimmy
...
Doc Prittle
...
Piquant (as James J. Sloyan)
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Warden Brodski
John Bottoms ...
Lawyer
...
Stanley Mae
...
Gravey Combs
Sam Reese ...
Priest (as Sammy Reese)
...
Willy Herzallerliebst
...
La Follette
...
Virgil
William Mims ...
Lynn
...
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:

Language:

Release Date:

23 June 1972 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Der reisende Henker  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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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

Edited into The Lost Empire (1984) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Shows the humanity that can be brought to any profession
19 December 2005 | by See 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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