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The Executioner's Song (1982)

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0:40 | Clip
The story of Gary Gilmore, a convicted murderer who lobbied for his own execution.

Director:

Lawrence Schiller

Writers:

Norman Mailer (screenplay), Norman Mailer (book)
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Won 2 Primetime Emmys. Another 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Tommy Lee Jones ... Gary Gilmore
Christine Lahti ... Brenda Nicol
Rosanna Arquette ... Nicole Baker
Eli Wallach ... Vern Damico
Steven Keats Steven Keats ... Larry Samuels
Jordan Clarke ... Johnny Nicol
Richard Venture ... Earl Dorius
Jenny Wright ... April Baker
Walter Olkewicz ... Pete Galovan
Michael LeClair Michael LeClair ... Rikki Wood
Pat Corley ... Val Conlan
Mary Ethel Gregory Mary Ethel Gregory ... Ida Damico
John Dennis Johnston ... Jimmy Poker-Game
Norris Mailer Norris Mailer ... Lu-Ann (as Norris Church)
Kenneth O'Brien Kenneth O'Brien ... Spencer McGrath
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Storyline

Based on the real life case of murderer Gary Mark Gilmore, spanning the last nine months of his life (May 1976-January 1977) in which at age 35, after being released for serving a long prison term in Utah for armed robbery, the unstable Gilmore murdered two men in two separate and senseless robberies in which after a brief public trial in October, he was sentenced to death by firing squad which drew a lot of media attention when Gilmore insisted that his execution be carried out and he became the first man to be executed in the USA since the government reinstated the death penalty in 1976. Written by matt-282

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Biography | Crime | Drama

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to Lawrence Schiller, Debra Winger was strongly favored for Nicole Baker, but was turned down after being considered "too urban" for the role. Tatum O'Neal also read for the role. See more »

Goofs

In the movie you see that Gary Gilmore shot himself in the left hand, but in real life he shot the right hand. See more »

Quotes

Gary Mark Gilmore: Go down on me, partner... I need it
Nicole Baker: Don't call me partner.
Gary Mark Gilmore: No, darlin'... I love it... I love it
Nicole Baker: Yeah, you and seven other motherfuckers.
See more »

Alternate Versions

A 97-minutes version was released theatrically in Europe, featuring additional footage with some nudity not shown in original television version. See more »

Connections

References Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia (1974) See more »

Soundtracks

This Time
Written and Performed by Waylon Jennings
Produced by Chips Moman
Music Coordinator: Marylou Hyatt
See more »

User Reviews

 
director's cut
25 July 2014 | by blanche-2See all my reviews

"The Executioner's Song" from 1982 was a TV movie, and on Netflix, I believe they send out the director's cut. It has lots of Roseanna Arquette's breasts and other body parts.

Based on the book by Norman Mailer (who also wrote the screenplay), this is the story of Gary Gilmore, who became famous by demanding that the state of Utah go ahead with his execution. It was the first execution in the US since the 1960s and the first since 1972 when the Supreme Court ruled that death sentences prior to that date were unconstitutional, which is why the Manson group was not executed.

Gilmore, who requested to face a firing squad, became kind of a cause celebre. As a hero of some sort, I suppose he fits in well with today's idea of a celebrity. He was basically a loser who always chose the easy way out. When he was released on parole for robbery, he had the help and support of his cousin (Christine Lahti) and his uncle (Eli Wallach), but he was unable to hold down a job and became obsessed with a 19-year-old (Arquette) with two children.

He then returned to the robbery business and for no good reason shot and killed two people after he robbed them.

I believe this was a TV movie in two parts, so what I saw was shortened. As a result, to make way for Arquette's body, there was quite a bit cut, making it jerky.

My main problem was getting any sympathy going for Gilmore or Arquette. Tommy Lee Jones did a terrific job, but even though Gary's family loved him and just hated the things he did, I as an audience member didn't share their feelings. As far as I'm concerned, he wanted to die because he didn't want to stay in prison. He robbed so he could pay for a truck and didn't have to work. Same old story - the easy way out.

This story was described as "tragic." The tragedy is that the Arquette character had two children. She was a whack job who tried to commit suicide so that she and Gary could continue their affair in heaven. It said at the end of the movie that she moved and started over. I hope for the sake of her kids that she made it. I have no doubt with her figure she met somebody. Let's hope it wasn't another loser.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

28 November 1982 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Executioner's Song See more »

Filming Locations:

Orem, Utah, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (Original Version)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

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