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Pierrepoint: The Last Hangman (2005)

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

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

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Minister
Ann Bell ...
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Governor of Strangeways
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Warder at Strangeways
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Woman in Pub
Neil Fitzmaurice ...
Keiran Flynn ...
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Frances Shergold ...
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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 »

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Details

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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)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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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

Governor Paton-Walsh: I don't mind telling you Pierrepoint... I don't think there's a better man in the country.
Albert Pierrepoint: Thank you, sir.
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Soundtracks

Makin' Whoopee
Music by Walter Donaldson
Lyrics by Gus Kahn
Performed by Timothy Spall and Eddie Marsan
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User Reviews

 
Charismatic Timothy Spall.
14 September 2006 | by (Coalville, United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

I booked this independent little British film to show at Coalville's Century Theatre, on the Non-Theatrical circuit. Titled "Pierrepoint" here in the UK, this is a case of another quality British film being routinely ignored by the multiplexes in favour of the usual fodder presented for the masses. I was confident my regular audience would be interested by this true story of mass executioner Albert Pierrepont who really was 'a household name' in the 50s and 60s. In actual fact, Mr Pierrepoint was NOT 'the last hangman' in the UK. It really is a remarkably entertaining picture considering the obviously dour storyline, much aided by the portrayal of charismatic star Timothy Spall, who can be relied upon to always give an interesting and engrossing performance. Mr Spall is no matinée idol lead but not many would argue he is one of the most popular actors in Britain today. The film explains how Albert followed in the same 'career' of his father and Uncle Tom (who is briefly portrayed in the film), and interestingly reveals the technical side of his skillful and efficient methods for a successful result! Along the way, Albert is seen with Field Marshal Montgomery, who personally recommended Pierrepoint to carry out the Nuremburg executions, as well as other familiar people such as Timothy Evans, Derek Bentley and Ruth Ellis, all of whose cases fed the argument for the abolition of capital punishment. In the film, much dramatic use is made of Pierrepoint's execution of his friend, 'Tish', who often sang duets with Albert in the latter's pub. This really is true, very much a case of stranger than fiction. This film is strangely entertaining, never dull, although I noted some of the female members of my audience were regularly looking downwards whenever a hanging was shown. However, afterwards, there many favourable comments about this film and we were still talking about it at the post show drink in the pub afterwards! Obviously achieved on a very restricted budget, but a film to be recommended.


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