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Dance with a Stranger

10 July 2014 10:00 PM, PDT

Though the seemingly ubiquitous Albert Pierrepoint doesn't appear in Mike Newell's 1985 film about the notorious Ruth Ellis, he's there in spirit, responsible as he was for Ellis' execution, the last woman in England to be hanged for murder. Miranda Richardson stars as the star-crossed Ellis and Rupert Everett plays her two-timing lover and eventual victim, David Blakely.

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Let Him Have It

8 July 2014 10:00 PM, PDT

The hangman Albert Pierrepoint (of Pierrepoint - The Last Hangman) makes a small but important appearance in Peter Medek's 1991 film about the controversial 1953 execution of Derek Bentley for the murder of a policeman (even though Bentley merely egged on the actual shooter with the phrase, "Let him have it.") The film stars Christopher Eccleston as the doomed Bentley, Tom Courtenay as his father and a supporting cast featuring a who's who of British character actors including Edward Hardwicke (Watson of BBC's Sherlock Holmes), Michael Gough (Horror of Dracula) and Clive Revill (The Legend of Hell House) as the executioner Pierrepoint. Even though Bentley's words " Let him have it " were ambiguous when the policeman demanded the shooter hand over the gun, the jury, under prejudicial instruction from the judge, decided the words meant "Shoot him!"

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Pierrepoint – The Last Hangman

6 July 2014 10:00 PM, PDT

Timothy Spall stars in a fascinating character study about a compassionate executioner. Based on the true story of Albert Pierrepoint who presided over 400 hangings in England between 1932 and 1956 (including the Nazis tried at Nuremberg), Pierrepoint was considered England's most prolific hangman as well as its most humane (taking care to finish the job as swiftly as possible). In his 1974 memoir Executioner: Pierrepoint, the then 69 year-old ex-executioner disavowed the death penalty as a plausible deterrent.

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