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Pierrepoint: The Last Hangman (2005)
"The Last Hangman" (original title)

R  |   |  Biography, Crime, Drama  |  7 April 2006 (UK)
7.5
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 3,784 users   Metascore: 68/100
Reviews: 43 user | 44 critic | 15 from Metacritic.com

The life and times of Albert Pierrepoint - Britain's most prolific hangman.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Minister
Ann Bell ...
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Governor of Strangeways
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Warder at Strangeways
Cavan Clerkin ...
...
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Woman in Pub
Neil Fitzmaurice ...
Keiran Flynn ...
Clive Francis ...
...
Frances Shergold ...
...
Dorothea Waddingham (as Elizabeth Hopley)
Peter Jonfield ...
...
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Storyline

Albert Pierrepoint delivered groceries - and was a hangman. Following in his father's footsteps he quickly became known for his efficiency and compassion, rising to become 'the best in the land'. From early 1933, until the end of his career in 1955, he executed 608 people, including the 'Beasts of Belsen' (war criminals), for which he earned the gratitude of a nation. But by the time he hanged Ruth Ellis, the last woman to be executed in Britain, public sentiments had changed... and so had Pierrepoint. Written by johnno.r[at]xtra.co.nz

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

1940's England. When the world needed a hero, he gave them what they wanted. But history can be cruel. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for disturbing images, nudity and brief sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

7 April 2006 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Pierrepoint: The Last Hangman  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$2,028 (USA) (1 June 2007)

Gross:

$21,766 (USA) (22 June 2007)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

(some scenes)|

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Despite the title Pierrepoint was not Britain's last hangman. He retired in the mid 1950s, shortly after executing Ruth Ellis - (see Dance with a Stranger (1985)). Britain never had a "last hangman", as the last two executions before suspension of capital punishment were carried out in different cities at the same time. As the last two people executed were both guilty of the murder of John West, it was decided to carry out sentence at the same time in Aug 1964. In Nov 1965, people were still being sentenced to death. See more »

Goofs

Nowhere in Pierrepoint's autobiography does he mention 'Kirky' or George Cooper. Similarly in the film, there is no presence of Steve Wade, Syd Dernley, or Harry Allen, who were Albert's assistants on many occasions. See more »

Quotes

Albert Pierrepoint: It's not been easy. I've got things in here too
[points at head]
Albert Pierrepoint: that I'd rather they weren't there. Oh, aye. I can keep them at bay, yeah. But they're waiting for me. Waiting for me to let my guard down. Waiting all the bloody time they are.
See more »

Soundtracks

A Life on the Ocean Wave
Written by Henry Russell
(Arranged by George Wilson)
Performed by The Royal Marines Band
See more »

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User Reviews

Having A Swinging Time ...
7 November 2006 | by (France) – See all my reviews

When documenting a true story, criticism is often levied at the film-makers for condensing and twisting true-life events to suit their needs. That may well be the case. Unless the viewer has read first hand accounts of such true-life stories, then the film versions of these events appear stilted and fanciful.

Albert Pierrepoint's story has been well documented in not only his autobiography but by numerous historians and writers. With key events in the film being followed as closely as possible, it must have been nigh on impossible to keep everyone happy. Casting for this film must have been quite an exciting process. With people like Timothy Spall in the lead role, he showed all the care and attention that Pierrepoint was famous for. His wife, played by Juliet Stephenson, was a highly touching character. Although Mrs Pierrepoint never stood out in the original autobiography, Stephenson brings us a strong yet gentile woman, the driving force behind The Hangman. Eddie Marsan's portrayal as 'Tish' was casting at it's best.

A supporting cast of physically interesting character actors blended with superb lighting and set design, make a highly enjoyable and thought provoking film about the rights and wrongs of capital punishment.

The fact that the makers of 'The Last Hangman' managed to cram a fascinating life-long career into 90 minutes must serve as a tribute to their skill and craftsmanship.


18 of 21 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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