It only takes two seconds from the moment the executioner pulls the switch until the current charges into the body and kills the recipient. This movie deals with the review of a man's life in the two seconds which elapse between the moment of electrical surge and the moment when he dies.
In this way, it owes more than a little to Ambrose Bierce's story "Incident at Owl Creek Bridge," which deals in the instant between when the trap is sprung and when the noose snaps the hanged man's neck. The picture begins when the press arrives at a prison like Sing Sing to witness the execution
of Robinson, a convicted murderer, who says that he deserves to die, but not for the crime of which he has been convicted. The switch is pulled and we flash back to reveal the circumstances that brought Robinson to the hot seat. Robinson and Foster are best friends, highrise ironworkers. Robinson
is a dour man but Foster is an optimist who lives to enjoy. Foster has just won a few dollars at the races and both men had intended to go out on dates, but Robinson begs off and later finds himself inside a taxi-dance hall where he meets Osborne. They begin dating and one night, when Robinson is
in his cups, Osborne tricks him into appearing before a justice of the peace. Foster can't believe Robinson has been sappy enough to marry Osborne, especially after he learns that she has been secretly seeing Naish, the sleazeball who owns the taxi-dance hall. Foster tells Robinson the truth and
Robinson responds by knocking Foster off their high perch, sending him to his death. The loss of Foster puts Robinson into a terrible depression and he can no longer work on skyscrapers. Osborne tells Robinson that she has had to borrow money from Naish for their food and rent. Robinson saves a
few dollars, bets it on the races, and wins almost $400. Later, he finds Osborne with Naish, gives Naish the money they owe him, then shoots Osborne. Flash forward to the electric chair and Robinson again says that he should be dying for Foster's death but not for killing his cheating wife,
Osborne. The tragic ending puts a pall on the story and Robinson is guilty of some overacting. Foster had appeared in the Broadway play whence this sprung. It was his second film after FOLLOW THE LEADER. Slow, laborious, and unsatisfying to Robinson fans who were used to more action from the
little guy when he played killers, such as in LITTLE CAESAR. Lots of holes in the story, including the marriage by justice Hoffman which has no witnesses present.
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- Rating: NR
- Review: It only takes two seconds from the moment the executioner pulls the switch until the current charges into the body and kills the recipient. This movie deals with the review of a man's life in the two seconds which elapse between the moment of electrical su… (more)