Thriller

Season 2 Episode 2

Guillotine

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Aired Tuesday 9:00 PM Sep 26, 1961 on NBC
8.9
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Episode Summary

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Guillotine
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To save the life of her husband who is to be executed, a young woman attempts to murder the executioner.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
    Alejandro Rey

    Alejandro Rey

    Robert Lamont

    Guest Star

    Danielle de Metz

    Danielle de Metz

    Babette Lamont

    Guest Star

    Robert Middleton

    Robert Middleton

    Monsieur DeParis

    Guest Star

    Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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    • TRIVIA (0)

    • QUOTES (6)

      • Boris Karloff: The early dawn. The gleaming knife. A man seized in his cell by armed guards in their stocking feet. Snatched from a dream to freedom to be thrust into the waiting embrace of Madame Guillotine. All together an unenviable experience. Not, however, inevitable. It is related that there have been certain criminals, cutthroats and murderers all, who have by one means or another evaded this chilly thing. Well, the efforts of one such fellow to alter his ordained destiny form the substance of tonight's story. The location: France. The year: 1875. And the theme... well, you might call it togetherness. The normal association of the body and the head it comes with. You're about to meet three people who enjoy seriously conflicting viewpoints on the subject. Here is the condemned man, Robert Lamont, who desires to keep his head while others about him are losing theirs. Enacted for us by Alejandro Rey. His good wife and the chief source from which his present dilemma obtains, Babette, played by Danielle de Metz. And the third figure in this grisly triangle, the estimable and much-maligned Monsieur de Paris, public servant par excellence. Portrayed by Robert Middleton. This drama may be considered not only as a tribute to the inexorable march of civilization, but also to the unconquerable spirit of convicted murders. Of course, such practices may soon become things of the past with modern methods of scientific liquidation. Instant death is now available to the masses without fuss and, in most cases, without undue delay. Pity. The old traditional ways were always so much more... quaint.

      • Monsieur de Paris: And now, mademoiselle, if you will excuse me, I must not be late for dinner.
        Babette
        : Your wife?
        Monsieur de Paris
        : Oh much worse, mademoiselle: my housekeeper.

      • Babette: Oh, what a delicious smell.
        Monsieur de Paris
        : How thoughtless of me. Please mademoiselle, do us the honor of remaining for dinner.
        Babette
        : Are you sure it will please Madame de Clerc?
        Monsieur de Paris
        : Madame de Clerc has not been pleased since the day she attended her husband's funeral.

      • Prison Director: Robert Lamont, it is my duty to inform you that your appeal has been refused. Be brave.
        Robert: Why not? It costs no more.

      • Barber: Bonjour, monsieur. Shave?
        Robert
        : Go to blazes!
        Barber
        : Yes, I will, someday. But you, you will be there to have things all nice and cozy for me.

      • The Doctor (checking the pulse of DeParis): I'm afraid...it is too late.
        Robert: He's dead? I win! I win! I win! I wi-!

    • NOTES (3)

      • The opening narration, in particularly grisly fashion, has Boris Karloff removing the decapitated head of each of the three main players from the guillotine basket as he introduces them to the audience. The effect is accomplished by utilizing matte shot techniques.

      • The guillotine was named for Joseph-Ignace Guillotin, an anatomy professor who was on the 1791 committee formed to research a more humane method of execution in France. The guillotine became the country's official method of execution, and remained in use until 1977. It is estimated that between 16,000 to 40,000 people died on the guillotine during the "Reign of Terror" (1793-94).

      • Twenty-one years later this story would be adapted once again for the shortlived 1982 show Darkroom in an episode also titled "Guillotine." Both episodes give credit to the original author of the story, Cornell Woolrich.

    • ALLUSIONS (1)

      • Boris Karloff: Here is the condemned man, Robert Lamont, who desires to keep his head while others about him are losing theirs.
        Karloff paraphrases Rudyard Kipling's 1895 poem "If--", first published in the "Brother Square Toes" chapter of Rewards and Fairies. The actual line is "If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs and blaming it on you."

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