Tales from the Crypt (1989–1996)
15 user 5 critic

The Man Who Was Death 

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


Walter Hill


Steven Dodd (creator), Walter Hill (screenplay) | 1 more credit »

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
William Sadler ... Niles Talbot (as Bill Sadler)
J.W. Smith J.W. Smith ... Charley Ledbetter
Roy Brocksmith ... Vic
David Wohl ... Warden Havers
Gerrit Graham ... Theodore Carne
Dani Minnick Dani Minnick ... Cynthia Baldwin
Tony Abatemarco ... Detective
Mimi Kennedy ... Distraught Woman
Robert Winley ... Jimmy Flood
Eve Brent ... Judge #1
Edgar Small Edgar Small ... Judge #2
Mark Lowenthal Mark Lowenthal ... District Attorney
F.J. O'Neil F.J. O'Neil ... Priest
Raymond O'Connor ... Jury Foreman (as Raymond O'Conner)
Jennifer Evans 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


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Parents Guide:

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Release Date:

10 June 1989 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


William Sadler initially auditioned for the role of the detective who arrests Niles Talbot but asked at his audition about auditioning to play Talbot. The casting director informed Sadler that they sought Christopher Walken or John Malkovich for the role. Nevertheless, Sadler was allowed to audition and was eventually cast as Talbot. See more »


Niles Talbot: The old rule: treat whores like queens and queens like whores.
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Tales from the Crypt Theme
Composed by Danny Elfman
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User Reviews

The Governor should definitely watch this great episode.....
13 August 2017 | by Fella_shibbySee all my reviews

This is one of my favorite episode apart from All thru... from the first season. Saw this in the early 90s n had seen all the 93 episodes n spin off movies. Revisited it recently. This episode is about an electrician (William Sadler), who works as an executioner in a penitentiary. The acting by Sadler is top notch. How he keeps the viewers glued in by just talking to the camera. Also how he makes fun of all the criminals who are about to receive death penalty by his electrocution. Thru TV news we n him r informed that the death penalty has been done away with. Later after being jobless, Sadler becomes a vigilante. He starts killing criminals who are let off by the court. His execution style is still the same, death by electrocution. The episode is very well directed n acted. The dark humour is top notch.

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