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The Executioner's Song (1982)

The story of Gary Gilmore, a convicted murderer who lobbied for his own execution.

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(screenplay), (book)
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Won 2 Primetime Emmys. Another 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Steven Keats ...
Jordan Clarke ...
Richard Venture ...
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Michael LeClair ...
Pat Corley ...
Mary Ethel Gregory ...
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Norris Mailer ...
Lu-Ann (as Norris Church)
Kenneth O'Brien ...
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Storyline

Based on the true story of murderer Gary Mark Gilmore, spanning the last nine months of his life (May 1976-January 1977) in which at age 35, after being released for serving a long prison term in Utah for armed robbery, the unstable Gilmore murdered two men in two seperate and senseless robberies in which after a brief public trial in October, he was sentenced to death by firing squad which drew a lot of media attention when Gilmore insisted that his execution be carried out and he became the first man to be executed in the USA since the government reinstated the death penalty in 1976. Written by Matthew Patay

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Genres:

Biography | Crime | Drama

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

28 November 1982 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Canção do Carrasco  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to director Lawrence Schiller, Debra Winger was strongly favored for Nicole Baker but was turned down after being considered "too urban" for the role. Tatum O'Neal also read for the role. See more »

Goofs

When they are releasing the straps from Gilmore after he is dead you can see his hand move. In addition the arm is closer to the leg than depicted in the previous shot. See more »

Quotes

Gary Mark Gilmore: Go down on me, partner... I need it
Nicole Baker: Don't call me partner.
Gary Mark Gilmore: No, darlin'... I love it... I love it
Nicole Baker: Yeah, you and seven other motherfuckers.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Cremaster 2 (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

This Time
Written and Performed by Waylon Jennings
Produced by Chips Moman
Music Coordinator: Marylou Hyatt
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User Reviews

Unmissable.
6 December 2002 | by (London, England) – See all my reviews

Norman Mailer's book about Gary Gilmore was compelling in the first half, but the second half was a limp, uphill struggle. There's no such problem in the TV adaptation, which is tighter and absorbing all the way through, with both Tommy Lee Jones and Rosanna Arquette giving two of the best performances of their careers... you now know why it's easy for us to forgive him for "Batman Forever" and her for "Off The Wall" (which she made the following year, and oh dear me that was BAD).

This is available in both miniseries form and a shortened cable/theatrical version (to quote Buffy Summers, "We're talking violence, strong language, adult themes..."), but I actually prefer the TV version because while you get more nudity - female AND male - and more graphic scenes in the cable cut (not to mention lines like Rosanna's "Yeah, you and seven other motherf***ers"), it's at the expense of a little story coherence; you lose some seaminess in the miniseries version, but the tale is ultimately stronger, clearer and not so rushed. But either version is a must.


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