The Sun Sets at Dawn
|The Sun Sets at Dawn|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Paul Sloane|
|Produced by||Helen H. Rathvon|
|Screenplay by||Paul Sloane|
|Music by||Leith Stevens|
|Edited by||Sherman Todd|
|Distributed by||Eagle-Lion Films|
A young man sits in prison on the night before his execution, while his girlfriend waits for the inevitable in the prison governor's house. The warden and his wife sympathize with both of them. It is the first use of the electric chair in the state, and there are teething problems with its installation. Meanwhile, a group of reporters discussing the case, realize that the M.O. of the crime bears a similar style to that of a criminal, "Parrot" Farucco, who was supposed to have died three years previously. As the execution takes place off camera, a prison orderly collecting mail in the cafe identifies a customer as Farucco. He confronts him and is shot by the criminal, who is subdued and tied by other customers who happen to be prison officers waiting to begin work.
At the same time the reporters rush in, back from the prison to use the Post Office telephones. It turns out that the execution has had to be postponed owing to electrical problems with the chair. Farucco is brought into custody into the prison governor's office, and moved by the distraught girlfriend's grief, admits to the crime just in time to prevent the second execution attempt.
- Sally Parr as The Girl
- Philip Shawn as The Boy
- Walter Reed as The Chaplain
- Lee Fredericks as Blackie
- Houseley Stevenson as Pops
- Howard St. John as The Warden
- Louise Lorimer as The Warden's Wife
- Raymond Bramley as The Deputy Warden
- Charles Meredith as Reporter, AP
- King Donovan as Reporter, National News Service
- Charles Arnt as Reporter, Globe Express
- Sam Edwards as Reporter, Herald
- Percy Helton as Reporter, Feature Syndicate
Film critic Dennis Schwartz wrote a mostly positive film review, "The story was well told, but the acting left a lot to be desired. And all that religious stuff thrown in, about how God listens to you, was strictly cornball. But as far as B-films go, this one is above average."
Film historian and critic Hal Erickson discussed the film's major theme. He wrote, "The Sun Sets at Dawn is a crime melodrama with strong religious overtones ... dozens of reporters gather around as The Boy tells his sad life story. While this is going on, the person who should be electrocuted is exposed, and it is suggested that a Divine force has brought about this last-minute miracle ... [and] the characters have no names; this, evidently, is meant to be symbolic."
- The Sun Sets at Dawn at the American Film Institute Catalog
- The Sun Sets at Dawn on IMDb
- The Sun Sets at Dawn at AllMovie
- The Sun Sets at Dawn at the TCM Movie Database
- The Sun Sets at Dawn information site and DVD review at DVD Beaver (includes images)
- The Sun Sets at Dawn is available for free download at the Internet Archive
- The Sun Sets at Dawn complete film on YouTube (film in public domain)