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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 3,828 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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Title: Pierrepoint: The Last Hangman (2005)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Minister
Ann Bell ...
...
Governor of Strangeways
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Warder at Strangeways
...
...
...
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:

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:

 »
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Details

Country:

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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

The film meddles somewhat with the chronology of Pierrepoint's career. The execution of Polish murderer Piotr Maksimowski, accurately shown to have been performed in the record time of 7-and-a-half seconds, took place not in the immediate post-war period before Pierrepoint took the lease on his pub; but years later on 29 March 1950 - nineteen days after the higher-profile (and later infamous) hanging of Timothy Evans. Furthermore, the man who served as assistant executioner on both occasions was named Syd Dernley, not George Cooper. 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

Moonlight Promenade
Written by Ib Glindemann
Performed by The Carlin Session Band
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User Reviews

 
interesting character study
11 September 2008 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

This film details the life and career of Albert Pierrepoint, the Lancashire hangman and owner of the pub 'Help the Poor Struggler' from the 1930s through to the 1960s. His profession is in the blood - following in his father's footsteps - but until the war he stayed anonymous, not even discussing matters with his wife.

Timothy Spall does well in the lead, although the historical accuracy is questionable in places. As a character study it works well, but ultimately it is a fairly depressing watch. The quotation at the end makes clear that Pierrepoint did become disillusioned with his quick and dispassionate job, moving from pride in the speed of his work to the feeling that something is inherently wrong with one person causing another's life to end with deliberate calculation.

Pierrepoint is a film which raises a lot of questions, but ultimately treats them in a superficial way. Historical cases well documented such as Evans and Ellis pass by without much note, which depersonalises them and makes their inclusion something of a lost opportunity.


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