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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
you may also be interested in the Mikhal Gilmore biography about his brother, Gary, and how they grew up in Oregon, being brutally abused by their father. Apparently, Gary Gilmore spent more time in juvenile detention homes than could be counted, and these institutions promoted the violent and hostile behavior which came to be seen by Gilmore as normal, even acceptable.
This film is primarily a documentary; look for Eli Wallach as Gilmore's Uncle Vern, trying to help his nephew function in the world. In Salt Lake City, Utah, where most of the film takes place, there is a cold unforgiving environment, similar to the environment Gilmore grew up in. As he grew up during the depression, options were scarce. Hostility, anger and frustration led to physical abuse, acting out, and eventually, murder. Rosanna Arquette is believable as the long-suffering girlfriend of Gilmore, who refuses to face reality.
This is an excellent film, due for a remake; perhaps Mikhal Gilmore could translate his book version into film. In real life, Gilmore's mother was devastated and traumatized, living in a trailer, mourning the horrible life her son had endured, a child who had no options, who grew up as an armed robber, and who finally demanded the state of Utah execute him in Draconian fashion. 9/10.
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