IMDb > Mr. Death: The Rise and Fall of Fred A. Leuchter, Jr. (1999)
Mr. Death: The Rise and Fall of Fred A. Leuchter, Jr.
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Mr. Death: The Rise and Fall of Fred A. Leuchter, Jr. (1999) More at IMDbPro »

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Mr. Death: The Rise and Fall of Fred A. Leuchter, Jr. -- A cinematic portrait of the life and career of the infamous American execution device designer and holocaust denier.

Overview

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View company contact information for Mr. Death: The Rise and Fall of Fred A. Leuchter, Jr. on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
14 January 2000 (USA) See more »
Plot:
A cinematic portrait of the life and career of the infamous American execution device designer and holocaust denier. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Awards:
4 wins & 5 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
An Executioner is a Derelict Anyway and Finds His Friends Where He Can. See more (50 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)
Fred A. Leuchter Jr. ... Himself (as Fred Leuchter)
Robert Jan Van Pelt ... Himself
David Irving ... Himself
Caroline Leuchter ... Herself (voice)
James Roth ... Himself - Analytical Chemist
Shelly Shapiro ... Herself
Suzanne Tabasky ... Herself
Ernst Zündel ... Himself
David Collins ... Re-enactment cast
Daniel Polsby ... Re-enactment cast
Jeff Brown ... Re-enactment cast
Robert Duerr ... Re-enactment cast
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Adolf Hitler ... Himself - Leaves Plane (archive footage) (uncredited)

Errol Morris ... Himself - Interviewer (voice) (uncredited)

Directed by
Errol Morris 
 
Produced by
Dorothy Aufiero .... producer
David Collins .... producer
Errol Morris .... producer
David Schisgall .... associate producer: Tennessee/Malden
Jonathan Sehring .... executive producer
John Sloss .... executive producer
Kathy Trustman .... producer: Tennessee/Malden
Michael Williams .... producer
Caroline Kaplan .... executive producer (uncredited)
 
Original Music by
Caleb Sampson 
 
Cinematography by
Peter Donahue 
 
Film Editing by
Karen Schmeer 
 
Production Design by
Ted Bafaloukos 
 
Art Direction by
Steven McNulty 
 
Production Management
Katarzyna Fukacz-Cebula .... production manager: Poland (as Katarzyna Fukacz)
Mark Hankey .... unit production manager: Tennessee/Malden
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Marek Cydorowicz .... assistant director: Poland
David Vos .... first assistant director
 
Art Department
Artur Bartos .... props: Poland
Inka Bodyl .... props: Poland
Michael Cataldo .... prop master
Jay Heyman .... props assistant
Alasdair McLellan .... art department assistant
Kenji Messenger .... carpenter
Heidi Pribell .... shopper
Adie Russell .... graphic artist
Peter Ryan .... art department assistant
Lisa Sawlit .... graphic artist
 
Sound Department
Coll Anderson .... supervising sound editor
Stephen Bores .... sound mixer (as Steve Bores)
Stephen Bores .... sound: Tennessee/Malden (as Steve Bores)
Brian Bowles .... dialogue editor
Andrew Bracken .... sound effects recordist (as Drew Bracken)
Fred Burnham .... additional sound
Mario Cardenas .... additional sound (as Mario Cardenes)
Maria Chilarecka .... sound mixer: Poland
Eric A. Christoffersen .... stereo sound consultant: Dolby
Patrick Dundas .... sound effects editor
Frank Morrone .... sound re-recording mixer (as Frank Morroni)
Bob Olari .... sound recordist
Pam Yates .... sound: Tennessee/Malden
 
Visual Effects by
Philip Azenzer .... video effects (as Phil Azenzer)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Karine Albano .... electrician (as Karin Albano)
Martin Albert .... key grip
Nubar Alexanian .... still photographer
Ron Bennett .... generator operator
Carlos Bermudez .... best boy electric
Carlos Bermudez .... best boy: Tennessee/Malden
Sergiusz Bogucki .... best boy electric: Poland
Jan Burgess .... additional camera loader
Dave Cambria .... videographer (as David Cambria)
Phil Darrell .... gaffer: Tennessee/Malden (as Phillip Darrell)
Melissa R. Donovan .... assistant camera: Tennessee/Malden (as Melissa Donovan)
Thomas Doran .... key grip: Tennessee/Malden (as Tom Doran)
Michael Guerra .... gaffer
Piotr Hermanowski .... electrician: Poland
Jeffrey Iwanicki .... video assist operator
Artur Kapala .... video assist operator: Poland
John R. Kaplan .... grip: Tennessee/Malden (as John Kaplan)
Tom Keenan .... electrician (as Thomas Keenan)
Patrick Kelly .... second assistant camera
Ian Kincaid .... gaffer: Tennessee/Malden
Len Levine .... gaffer: Poland
Edward Makówka .... additional second assistant camera: Poland
David Puopolo .... generator operator
Robert Ragozzine .... first assistant camera (as Robert Ragazzine)
Henryk Redosz .... key grip: Poland
Robert Richardson .... additional photographer
Dave Rudolph .... grip (as David Rudolph)
Daisy Smith .... second assistant camera: Poland
James Smith .... camera loader
Marek Socha .... electrician: Poland
Peter Sova .... photographer: Leuchter interview
Ryszard Switalski .... electrician: Poland
Roman Taborski .... electrician: Poland
Robert Tompkins .... best boy grip
Mark Tye .... electrician: Tennessee/Malden (as Mark A. Tye)
Waldemar Walczynski .... best boy grip: Poland
Henryk Wingert .... generator operator: Poland
Eric Zimmerman .... first assistant camera: Poland
Zach Lazar .... generator operator (uncredited)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Janet Generalli .... wardrobe
 
Editorial Department
Anshul Amar .... contributing editor
Schuyler Cayton .... assistant editor
Don Ciana .... color timer
Brad Fuller .... consulting editor
Jane Gray .... assistant editor
Paula Heredia .... consulting editor
Molly O'Brien .... contributing editor
Ann Petrone .... assistant editor
Joe Violante .... laboratory advisor
Charles Herzfeld .... film lab coordinator (uncredited)
 
Music Department
Huck Bennert .... music recording engineer
Donald Berman .... musician: piano on "Sublime"
Greg Devore .... music recording supervisor
Terry Donahue .... musician: accordion and percussion
Hawthorne Quartet .... musician: strings
John Kusiak .... composer: additional music
John Kusiak .... music producer
John Kusiak .... musician: synthesizer
Billy Novick .... musician: clarinet
Caleb Sampson .... musician: synthesizer
Ken Winokur .... musician: percussion
 
Other crew
Brian Albushies .... accountant
Eric Asch .... intern (as Erich Asch)
James Barnes .... craft service
Craig Bernheart .... production assistant
Mark Boulos .... assistant: Errol Morris
Paul Brennan .... production consultant
Jeff Brown .... production assistant
Schuyler Cayton .... production assistant
Clint Collins .... location manager
Karen Corsica .... assistant to producers
Jeremy Dawson .... title designer
Lynn DeLacy .... intern
Peter J. Dowd Jr. .... intern (as Peter Dowd)
Luke Fischbeck .... intern
Sam Folk-Williams .... intern
Dina Hazan .... intern
Stacie Heintze .... script supervisor
Jennifer Kelly .... production assistant
Jeremy Kleiner .... intern
Linda Klicker .... intern
Steven Lamola .... researcher
Wieslaw Lysakowski .... location manager: Poland
Atim Macauley .... intern
Agnieska Nejman .... production assistant: Poland
Malve O'Meara .... production coordinator (as Maeve O'Meara)
Myles Paige .... intern
Ann Petrone .... production coordinator
Daniel Polsby .... assistant: Errol Morris
Matt Pursley .... digital film scanning and recording
Nicholas Ravich .... researcher
Nicholas M. Robbins .... production assistant (as Nicholas Robbins)
Reid Rosefelt .... publicist
Mary Ryan .... production coordinator: Tennessee/Malden
Ariel Enriquez Saulog .... digital film scanning and recording (as Ariel E. Saulog)
Dan Schrecker .... title designer
Isaac Silverglate .... intern
Derek Skaletsky .... production assistant
John Sloss .... production consultant
Marielle Smith .... intern
Wojtek Smolen .... representative: Ausschwitz museum, Poland
Dia Sokol Savage .... intern (as Dia Sokol)
Anne Hawley Stevens .... intern
Justyna Stolarz .... interpreter: Poland
Robert Jan Van Pelt .... consultant: Auschwitz
James White .... digital film scanning and recording
Kellyanne Willis .... intern
Kristina Wood .... researcher
Darren Yesser .... production assistant
 
Crew believed to be complete


Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Mr. Death" - USA (short title)
See more »
MPAA:
Rated PG-13 for thematic elements
Runtime:
91 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Certification:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
All of the states which bought one of Leuchter's lethal injection machines have subsequently stopped using them because they were too difficult to operate and maintain.See more »
Quotes:
Fred A. Leuchter Jr.:The human body is not easy to destroy and it's not east to take a life humanely and painlessly without doing a great deal of damage to the individual's body.See more »
Movie Connections:

FAQ

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10 out of 14 people found the following review useful.
An Executioner is a Derelict Anyway and Finds His Friends Where He Can., 22 February 2009
Author: jzappa from Cincinnati, OH, United States

Fred A. Leuchter, Jr., the subject of this documentary, is a lonely man, and so a man of narrow acumen, because he's just appreciative to be liked, even by Nazi sympathizers. Errol Morris conjoins montages and music into a movie that is more reflection than subjective report. Fred Leuchter, the son of a prison warden, relatively floundered into the Death Row business. An engineer by training, he was inspired by the urge for more competent and compassionate execution apparatuses. He'd seen electric chairs that fried their sufferers without killing them, poison gas chambers that endangered the witnesses, gallows not efficiently constructed to break the neck. He went to work fashioning better versions of these devices, and soon prisons throughout the US were taking his council.

Notwithstanding his advance in trade, he was not, we understand, particularly well-received socially, though he does come to marry a waitress he meets owing to his habit of more than forty cups of coffee a day. We hear her offscreen voice as she balks at Fred's belief that their trip to Auschwitz was their honeymoon, where she had to wait in a freezing car, looking out for guards. Leuchter's visit to Auschwitz was the crossroads in his work. He was asked by a neo-Nazi Holocaust denier to provide a professional opinion at his trial. Zundel financed Leuchter's 1988 trip, where he chiseled off chunks of brick and mortar in buildings used as gas chambers and had them examined for leftover cyanide. He resolves that the chambers never had capacity for gas.

There is a fault in his report, needless to say. The lab technician who analyzed the samples for him protests that cyanide would sink into bricks but to the measure of one-tenth of a hair. By chiseling large bits, Leuchter had eroded his sampling by several thousand times, not even taking into account the ravages of half a century. To find cyanide would have been supernatural. No bother. Leuchter became a darling after-dinner mouthpiece in the neo-Nazi circle, and the camera captures how his face illuminates and his whole body appears to embrace their cheers and ovations, how thrilled he is to shake hands with his new friends. Other people might recoil from the derelict position of a Holocaust denier, to say the least. An executioner is a derelict anyway and finds his friends where he can.

No filmmaker can be accountable for those reluctant or unfit to take in his or her film with a discerning view. Anyone who leaves this deeply unsettling film concurring with Leuchter lays claim with him on the verge of psychosis. What's unsettling about the film is the way Leuchter is fairly honorable up till the point at which the neo-Nazis sink their talons into him. Those who are revolted by ethnic cleansing and other forms of government-sponsored genocide sometimes have no pangs when the state executes them one by one, testing them on elephants as is appallingly shown early in this film through dog-eared stock footage. One can even be a two-term president after governing the most restless American Death Row on record.

In cinema, the Holocaust intensifies melodrama in that the conquest of the soul never struck so victorious against atrocity, because the atrocity is so confounding. Morris's haunting documentary tries to do something distinct. It's to attempt to penetrate the thought process of denial. You meditate on the general concept of denial, not as some postwar sensation but as something that was intrinsic in the undertaking itself. Those people did those things. The mystery is how. It's about deciphering why Fred Leuchter holds these beliefs.

There is paradox in of so many U.S. states heaping tax money on this guy's work, just to oust him because of his distasteful affiliations. The capability of so many people to live contentedly with the notion of capital punishment may be a hint to how so many Europeans could live with the Holocaust: When you swallow the idea that the state has the right to kill someone and the right to decide what is a cardinal wrongdoing, you're nearly there. Mr. Death offers no complacent position of judgment. He doesn't make it obvious for us with light ethical categorizations, because people are formidably paradoxical and can get their minds around fearsomely peculiar notions.

Was the above review useful to you?
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No traces of cyanide oprescue999
That poor little man sjhugo17
Ernst Zundel MemberDismember
Where is he now? rattbuttimus
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Fred where is he now and patpettite
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