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Pierrepoint: The Last Hangman (2005)

The Last Hangman (original title)
Trailer
2:19 | Trailer

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The life and times of Albert Pierrepoint - Britain's most prolific hangman.

Director:

Adrian Shergold

Writers:

Bob Mills (screenplay), Jeff Pope (screenplay)
2 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ann Bell ... Violet Van Der Elst
Simon Armstrong ... Minister
Nicholas Blane ... Governor of Strangeways
Clive Brunt ... Warder at Strangeways
Cavan Clerkin ... George Cooper
James Corden ... Kirky
Marie Critchley ... Woman in Pub
Neil Fitzmaurice Neil Fitzmaurice ... Cliff the Scouser
Keiran Flynn Keiran Flynn ... Neville
Clive Francis ... Field Marshall Montgomery
Christopher Fulford ... Sykes
Frances Shergold Frances Shergold ... Alice
Lizzie Hopley ... Dorothea Waddingham (as Elizabeth Hopley)
Peter Jonfield Peter Jonfield ... Mr. Andrews
Bernard Kay ... Uncle Tom
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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 »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

7 April 2006 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Pierrepoint: The Last Hangman See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,028, 3 June 2007, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$21,766, 24 June 2007
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Black and White (some scenes)| Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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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

When Annie Pierrepoint is sitting in bed checking the 'accounts', she refers to a "job at Strangeways" for which Albert was not paid. He recalls that the prisoner received a very late reprieve, and Annie indignantly talks of him "going all that way down there for nothing". Strangeways is not "all that way down there". It is in Manchester, the city where the Pierrepoints lived. See more »

Quotes

Albert Pierrepoint: It's not been easy. I've got things in here too
[points at head]
Albert Pierrepoint: that I'd rather they weren't there. Oh, aye. I can keep them at bay, yeah. But they're waiting for me. Waiting for me to let my guard down. Waiting all the bloody time they are.
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Connections

Featured in Adolf Hitler: The Greatest Story Never Told (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Curtain Up
Composed by L. Rawle
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User Reviews

 
interesting character study
11 September 2008 | by didi-5See 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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