The Sun Sets at Dawn (November 1, 1950)
Released on November 1, 1950: (running time 1 hour and 12 minutes) An innocent man is about to be the first man in the state to be electocuted instead of hung.
Produced by Helen H. Rathvon and Paul Sloan
Directed by Paul Sloane
Written by Paul Sloane
The Actors: Sally Parr (the girl), Patrick Waltz (the boy), Walter Reed (the Chaplain), Lee Frederick (Blackie), Houseley Stevenson (Pops), Howard St. John (the warden), Louise Lorimer (the warden's wife), Raymond Bramley (the deputy warden), Charles Meredith (Frank, AP reporter), Jack Reynolds (EP reporter), King Donovan (George, National News Service reporter), Charles Arnt (Globe Express reporter), Sam Edwards (Herald reporter), Percy Helton (Feature Syndicate reporter), Perry Ivins (Prison Trustee 'Old 46'), Morgan Brown (medical examiner), Cliff Clark (the executioner), Dick Curtis (guard), William 'Bill' Phillips (the electrician), Baynes Barron (prison trustee), Paul Bryar (truck driver), Kernan Cripps (short order cook), Mike Donovan (prison guard), Paul Kruger (prison guard), Frank Marlowe (truck driver), Joey Ray (prison trustee), Mickey Simpson (prison guard), Max Wagner (prison guard), George Wallace (prison guard)
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The Condemned Killer, His Childhood Sweetheart, and the Silent Parrot
Sally Francis Carmichael was twenty-five-years old when she starred in this crime drama using the name of Sally Parr, because she had just married a fellow named Richard Parr. Although she had a small part in a television show this same year, this would be her first, last and only motion picture appearance. She would become a television announcer for Channel 11 in Fort Worth, Texas, and one of her duties was to be the on-screen hostess for the late-night movie, sharing old movies with the Fort Worth audiences.
As our adventure opens she is getting off of a bus in front of a remote, rural truck stop. She goes from the bus to a car and is driven a few miles up the road to the state penitentiary where her childhood sweetheart will be the first person in this state to die by electric chair instead of being hung.
Inside Pop’s place, several newspaper reporters are assembled and waiting for the prison bus to arrive. The prison bus will take the reporters to the prison where they will sit in the same room with the new electric chair where the condemned killer will soon sit. It is almost 4:30am, and the condemned killer will be electrocuted at 5:35am, the break of dawn. In one hour and twelve minutes – the time it will take this movie to unfold, the young boy will die.
This leads to that, and the time approaches. The reporters are assembled in the death chamber, ready to witness the first electrocution in the state. The condemned man is led to the chair and strapped in. The Deputy Warden stands next to the chair, holding his handkerchief high in the air. The executioner stands in a small room with a big switch, ready to pull that switch as soon as the Deputy Warden drops his hand with the handkerchief.
The Deputy Warden looks at the clock and watches as it approaches 5:35am, and is about to drop his hand to signal the executioner, who will pull the switch, sending the young boy to his death. There are only a few seconds left for the young boy to live, when the scene switches back to Pop’s place. The clock on the wall at Pop’s place is also approaching 5:35am, and we watch as 5:35am comes, and passes. Pop a big bowl of white kernel popcorn with plenty of warm melted butter drizzled over it and enjoy the show.
Charles Meredith and Charles Arndt
Charles Meredith and Sam Edwards
Howard St. John
Howard St. John
Jack Reynolds and Charles Meredith
Louise Lorimer and Howard St. John
Louise Lorimer and Sally Parr
Patrick Waltz and Raymond Bramley
Patrick Waltz and Walter Reed
Perry Ivins and Houseley Stevenson
Raymond Bramley and Walter Reed
Sam Edwards and Charles Meredith