7.5/10
3,982
43 user 44 critic

Pierrepoint: The Last Hangman (2005)

The Last Hangman (original title)
Trailer
2:19 | Trailer
The life and times of Albert Pierrepoint - Britain's most prolific hangman.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay)
2 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Crime | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

In 1950s England, slow-witted Derek Bentley falls in with a group of petty criminals led by Chris Craig, a teenager with a fondness for American gangster films. Chris and Derek's friendship... See full summary »

Director: Peter Medak
Stars: Tom Courtenay, Christopher Eccleston, Eileen Atkins
Biography | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A stormy relationship, complicated by the strictures of 1950s social class and gender roles, ends in death. Based on the life of Ruth Ellis, the last woman hanged in Britain.

Director: Mike Newell
Stars: Miranda Richardson, Rupert Everett, Ian Holm
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

The life and imprisonment of Glasgow hard man and gangster Jimmy Boyle.

Director: John Mackenzie
Stars: David Hayman, Jake D'Arcy, Sean Scanlan
Birdwatchers (2008)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

When a tribe of indigenous Guarani Indians attempts to re-inhabit their ancestral land, which lies on the border of a wealthy landowner's fields, tensions escalate.

Director: Marco Bechis
Stars: Claudio Santamaria, Alicélia Batista Cabreira, Chiara Caselli
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Penny's love for her partner, taxi-driver Phil, has run dry. He is a gentle, philosophical guy, and she works on the checkout at a supermarket. Their daughter Rachel cleans in a home for ... See full summary »

Director: Mike Leigh
Stars: Timothy Spall, Lesley Manville, Ruth Sheen
Longford (TV Movie 2006)
Biography | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A portrait of Lord Longford, a tireless British campaigner whose controversial beliefs often resulted in furious political debate and personal conflict.

Director: Tom Hooper
Stars: Lee Boardman, Jim Broadbent, Tam Dean Burn
Drama | History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

The story of General Romeo Dallaire's frustrated efforts to stop the madness of the Rwandan Genocide, despite the complete indifference of his superiors.

Director: Roger Spottiswoode
Stars: Roy Dupuis, Owen Sejake, James Gallanders
Hero Wanted (2008)
Action | Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

After he awakens in a hospital, a man tracks down and murders the man that left him and a bank teller for dead during a robbery, only to end up having the slain thief's associates come after him in retaliation.

Director: Brian Smrz
Stars: Cuba Gooding Jr., Ray Liotta, Tommy Flanagan
Certificate: GP Biography | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Based on the real-life case of the British serial killer John Christie, and what happened to his neighbours Tim and Beryl Evans.

Director: Richard Fleischer
Stars: Richard Attenborough, Judy Geeson, John Hurt
Ratcatcher (1999)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Glasgow, summer, 1973. Dustmen are striking; bags of garbage add to the blight of council flats and a fetid canal. Ryan, who's about 12, drowns during a play fight with his neighbor, the ... See full summary »

Director: Lynne Ramsay
Stars: Tommy Flanagan, Mandy Matthews, William Eadie
Biography | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A dramatization of the final days of Sophie Scholl, one of the most famous members of the German World War II anti-Nazi resistance movement, The White Rose.

Director: Marc Rothemund
Stars: Julia Jentsch, Fabian Hinrichs, Alexander Held
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

An opera company puts on a production of Stephen Sondheim's Sweeney Todd in a maximum security prison.

Director: Francesca Joseph
Stars: Lucy Bates, Ian Burfield, Bruce Byron
Edit

Cast

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

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:

Respected citizen. Loving husband. Professional killer. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

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
See  »
Edit

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

Dorothea Waddingham was hanged at Winson Green Prison, not Holloway Prison, as depicted in the newspaper article that Anne Fletcher was reading. See more »

Quotes

Albert Pierrepoint: I did a lot of jobs in Germany. More than were really good for me. Too many really. I get so bloody tired now...
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 »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Spall is mesmerising as Pierrepoint...
8 February 2008 | by (Cyprus) – See all my reviews

Capital punishment in Great Britain was abolished in 1964. Prior to that date there were many Home Office appointed Hangmen, none more prolific than Albert Pierrepoint, who served from 1932 to 1956, during which time he hanged an estimated 433 men and 17 women.

Following his father Henry and uncle, Thomas, into the family 'trade', Pierrepoint became the number one hangman in Britain and his career brought him into contact with many notorious criminals including "Lord Haw-Haw" ("Germany Calling"), real name William Joyce; John George Haigh, the famous "acid bath murderer"; Derek Bentley, still a controversial case and the subject of the 1991 film LET HIM HAVE IT; Ruth Ellis, the last woman to be hanged in Britain, and again the subject of a movie, DANCE WITH A STRANGER (1985); gangster, Antonio "Babe" Mancini; Theodore Schurch, the last person to be executed for treason in Britain. Perhaps the most controversial case in Pierrepoint's career was that of Timothy Evans, whose wife and baby daughter had been found murdered at their home at 10 Rillington Place, also the home of one John Reginald Christie. Evans was executed in 1950. Christie was later charged with the murders of seven women and hanged in 1953. Evans was eventually granted a posthumous pardon in 1966. Evans was played harrowingly by John Hurt in the 1971 movie 10 RILLINGTON PLACE, with Richard Attenborough as a chilling Christie (according to John Hurt on the DVD commentary for 10 RILLINGTON PLACE, Pierrepoint himself actually offered his services, under an assumed name, as technical adviser for the hanging scene in that film as the actual method was covered by the Official Secrets Act and, ever the professional, Pierrepoint wanted it re-creating accurately, and nor would he have wished his work to be misrepresented).

Pierrepoint's body of work (if you'll forgive the expression) was greatly affected by World War II, and he worked all over Europe including Germany, Cyprus, Gibraltar and Austria. It is believed that in 1945 he hanged 190 men and 10 women war criminals at Hameln prison in the British controlled sector of Germany, including Irma Greese, Elizabeth Volkenrath, Juana Boreman and the "Beast of Belsen", Josef Kramer. During the war itself he had assisted his uncle Thomas in the execution of 16 American soldiers, condemned by Court Martial for murder and rape, at a military prison in Somerset. The movie carefully portrays Pierrepoint the man, not Pierrepoint the executioner. When he does his work he leaves Albert Pierrepoint outside. He is totally professional: he doesn't care who they are or what they've done, all that matters to him is that they are human beings who have to die and he will achieve that as quickly and humanely as possible. All that matters to him is height, weight and physical condition. He is also portrayed as compassionate. When organising the order of the hanging of the German war criminals he selects a girl, who has just accused him of doing the Jews work for them, to be hanged first. His army assigned assistant agrees as she's an 'arrogant bitch'. 'No,' says Pierrepoint, 'she's the youngest. She'll be the most frightened.' And after the deed he insists that the remains be treated with due reverence: 'They've paid the price. They're innocent now. D'y'see?' The publicity surrounding the Nazi war criminals disturbs Pierrepoint, as people applaud him in the street and buy him drinks in the newly acquired pub owned by himself and his wife. This isn't right to him. What he does, his job, is private, he does not even discuss it with his wife. All this attention isn't right. Also there is now an ever growing movement opposed to capital punishment. To some he is a national hero, to an increasing number of others he is a murderer. He starts to question his role. Timothy Spall, known as a dry, comedic actor on British TV (AUF WIEDERSEHEN, PET) and usually the slimy, slightly dopey, comic villain in movies like HARRY POTTER and LEMONY SNICKETT, is mesmerising as Pierrepoint. He portrays a quiet, gentle man, and one who regards his profession with honour and pride. He is appointed by the Government; he is the best in the land. His is not to question the law or the decisions of the lawmakers; his is to do his duty to the best of his ability. And he does. Only when his own notoriety, the hanging of his friend and the changing mood of the country toward capital punishment creep into the melting pot, does his resolve start to falter, and only when the various prison authorities start haggling over payments for his services, something he sees as an insult to his position as Chief Executioner, does he consider resigning, which of course he finally does. There are a few historical inaccuracies and inconsistencies (such as the main fact that he was not the last executioner. Capital Punishment continued for another eight years after Pierrepoint's resignation) but this is the norm for this kind of movie, and on the whole the film is as accurate as any film covering over 20 years in 90 minutes. The acting is excellent in all quarters, particularly Juliet Stevenson, though Spall leads by a length. The period is very well captured and is a close cousin to VERA DRAKE in this respect. The main thing about this movie is that it lingers with you and makes you want to think and learn more about its subject. With Pierrepoint's 'clients' having played such a large part in cinema history, it's time we had a movie about the man himself. And this is it. Recommended.


13 of 14 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Tragic Gaffe with DVD Salieri-3
The nazi Kagsy_99
Pierrepoint - Historical Accuracy colferkevin
Hanging Of Tish??? jasrust
Oscar nomination for Spall? hawascheuch
Excellent Movie Ammo08
Discuss Pierrepoint: The Last Hangman (2005) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?