Execution (The Twilight Zone)

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The Twilight Zone episode
Episode no. Season 1
Episode 26
Directed by David Orrick McDearmon
Written by Rod Serling Story by George Clayton Johnson
Production code 173-3628
Original air date April 1, 1960
Guest actors
Episode chronology
← Previous
"People Are Alike All Over"
Next →
"The Big Tall Wish"
List of season 1 episodes
List of Twilight Zone episodes

"Execution" is episode 26 of the American television anthology series The Twilight Zone. It features Albert Salmi, who also plays the lead character in the Season 4 episode "Of Late I Think of Cliffordville".

Opening narration


In 1880, an outlaw cowboy named Joe Caswell is about to be hanged for murder. But as the noose tightens around his neck, he suddenly disappears...and finds himself in 1959, in the laboratory of Professor Manion. Manion explains that he used a time machine to pluck Caswell from the past. But when Manion sees Caswell's rope burns around his neck, and hears his admission that in his life he had murdered over twenty men, he knows he must try to send Caswell back.

The discussion leads to an argument. Caswell attacks Manion, killing him with a desk lamp. He then flees from the laboratory into a busy street, but becomes so overwhelmed by the lights and the noise that he returns to the lab. Caswell, distraught and desperate, breaks down, pleading for the dead scientist to help him.

Suddenly, a thief named Paul Johnson enters the lab. Caswell fights with Johnson, but Johnson gets the upper hand in the fight and strangles Caswell with the cord from the window curtains. As he tries to find Manion's safe, he accidentally activates the time machine and is sent back to 1880, appearing in the noose intended for Caswell, just in time to be hanged. The Old Man and the Reverend are shocked to see a stranger's body, in strange clothes, in place of Caswell's; the Old Man orders it to be cut down and asks the Reverend for an explanation, but the latter cannot even answer whether this was the Devil's work or some other power's.

Closing narration

Further reading

  • DeVoe, Bill. (2008). Trivia from The Twilight Zone. Albany, GA: Bear Manor Media. ISBN 978-1-59393-136-0
  • Grabman, Sandra. (2005). Spotlights and Shadows: The Albert Salmi Story. Albany, GA: Bear Manor Media.
  • Grams, Martin. (2008). The Twilight Zone: Unlocking the Door to a Television Classic. Churchville, MD: OTR Publishing. ISBN 978-0-9703310-9-0

External links