The Chair

Facing imminent execution by electric chair Paul Crump was desperate to get him a final hour reprieve. The cameras kept rolling throughout a dramatic few days and the film got a part to the official programme in Cannes Film Festival in 1963 and won the Special Jury Prize.
Text from Robert Drew

Convicted murderer Paul Crump is due to die in Chicago’s electric chair in five days. His defense attorney, Donald Page Moore, welcomes news of some big help from New York. The famous, high-powered lawyer, Louis Nizer, is arriving to join his team. A Parole Board is assembling to hear a last minute appeal for Crump’s life by Moore and Nizer. At the Cook County jail, Paul Crump is tidying up a novel he has been writing. Warden Jack Johnson is tidying up the electric chair. From New York, three teams of Drew Associates film journalists arrive to record unobtrusively, with newly developed small cameras, whatever is going to happen. What happens is a courtroom drama of grand and historic consequence in which Moore and Nizer make new law, a life is saved and an historic film is made.