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Pierrepoint - The Last Hangman (2007)

tomatometer

75

Average Rating: 7/10
Reviews Counted: 53
Fresh: 40 | Rotten: 13

Director Adrian Shergold doesn't shy away from the darker elements of the movie's subject, and Timothy Spall is mesmerizing as the title character.

74

Average Rating: 6.6/10
Critic Reviews: 23
Fresh: 17 | Rotten: 6

Director Adrian Shergold doesn't shy away from the darker elements of the movie's subject, and Timothy Spall is mesmerizing as the title character.

audience

85

liked it
Average Rating: 3.8/5
User Ratings: 3,684

My Rating

Movie Info

Following in the footsteps of his father and uncle before him, Albert Pierrepoint joins the "family business" in 1934. He rises through the ranks to become the most feared and respected executioner in the country, hanging more than 450 people in his lifetime. Living a double life as a master hangman, and a grocery deliveryman and loyal husband, Pierrepoint's obsession to become the "Number One" executioner in the country results in his selection as executioner for some of Britain's most infamous

R,

Drama

Bob Jay Mills, Jeff Pope

Oct 30, 2007

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All Critics (53) | Top Critics (23) | Fresh (40) | Rotten (13) | DVD (6)

The key to the film is in the performances by Spall and Stevenson -- and by Marsan. The utter averageness of the characters, their lack of insight, their normality, contrasts with the subject matter in an unsettling way.

November 2, 2007 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Grim and disturbing yet perversely riveting.

June 22, 2007 Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The movie grows more compelling in the latter half as British public opinion turns against capital punishment and Pierrepoint begins to have his own doubts.

June 21, 2007 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The very title of this movie seems to message its doom. What could possibly be dramatic enough about Britain's last hangman to carry our interest over a 90-minute film? A whole lot, it turns out.

June 15, 2007 Full Review Source: Toronto Star
Toronto Star
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[The film's] grittiness instantly adds to the historically and socio-economically convincing picture of working-class Yorkshire in the last century.

June 15, 2007 Full Review Source: Globe and Mail
Globe and Mail
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Very much a bookend to Vera Drake in its mixture of post war British reserve and ugly reality. [Actor] Spall makes it work, creating a little man with big and terrible secrets.

June 15, 2007 Full Review Source: Boston Globe
Boston Globe
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Plodding biopic.

July 17, 2009 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

A suitably sombre treatment of a sombre story, Pierrepoint is nevertheless a riveting drama, sketching out not only the salient facts of Albert Pierrepoint's life but the turmoil in which that life caused in his soul

October 9, 2007 Full Review Source: Urban Cinefile
Urban Cinefile

Albert Pierrepoint single-handedly killed over 450 people in his career, dispatching most of them with an icy precision in less than 30 seconds.

September 7, 2007 | Comment (1)
Monsters and Critics

Spall is more than worthy of future leading roles.

August 7, 2007 Full Review Source: Film Threat
Film Threat

Overdramatizes Albert's 24-year career.

July 13, 2007 Full Review Source: Oregonian
Oregonian

Based on their press materials, they think they have made a film damning capital punishment and exploring Britain's most famous executioner. In fact, they haven't. But they have made a film of artistic beauty and endless fascination.

July 10, 2007 Full Review Source: culturevulture.net
culturevulture.net

There is a great deal of food for thought in a film that personalizes the effects of the death penalty on both the executed and the executioner.

June 19, 2007 Full Review Source: Reeling Reviews
Reeling Reviews

A genuine and skillful account of one of Britain's most morally ambiguous working-class characters.

June 18, 2007 Full Review Source: Sympatico.ca

...a powerful pairing of work by two terrific actors [Spall and Stevenson].

June 16, 2007 Full Review Source: rec.arts.movies.reviews
rec.arts.movies.reviews

A completely engaging film. It's all about performance, and Timothy Spall is riveting as the earnest hangman. If you're desperate for a movie that has nothing to do with sequels or product placement, look no further.

June 15, 2007 Full Review Source: Jam! Movies
Jam! Movies

The shot angles, the gray look of the film as a whole and Timothy Spall's spectacular and understated performance as Pierrepoint make this one of the most powerful anti-capital punishment films I've seen.

June 9, 2007 Full Review Source: San Diego Metropolitan
San Diego Metropolitan

Audience Reviews for Pierrepoint - The Last Hangman

Insightful character study of one of Britain's last executioners. In his lifetime, Albert Pierrepoint hung over 600 people, including several Nazi war criminals and Ruth Ellis (see Dance With A Stranger). Though he seemed outwardly detached, this film suggests that Albert's unusual profession eventually took a tremendous toll on his psyche and deeply impacted his personal life.
December 24, 2010
flixsterman
Randy Tippy

Super Reviewer

Excellent performances, particularly Timothy Spall in the lead, highlight this story. A man of deep compassion who was able to perform the job of executioner, feeling that they had already been judged, by looking at it as a duty and providing the condemned with as quick end as possible. Hardly a light entertainment this is more of a chamber piece for those who prefer realistic drama.
October 26, 2010
jjnxn
jay nixon

Super Reviewer

A great performance from Spall, everything else just seems like an afterthought! Would be a great theatre production!
October 1, 2009
SirPant

Super Reviewer

[font=Century Gothic]"Pierrepoint: The Last Hangman" is about Albert Pierrepoint(Timothy Spall), the real life hangman who in over 20 years on the job starting in 1932 executed hundreds of people. Following in the footsteps of his father, Pierrepoint sought to best him by becoming more efficient while also tenderly caring for the bodies after death.(His constant refrain is that the murderers have paid for their sins.) But no matter how much we may try to delude ourselves, there is no humane way to put someone to death.[/font]
[font=Century Gothic][/font]
[font=Century Gothic]With the countenance of an undertaker, Timothy Spall makes much of a rare chance to be the lead in this pointed character study that is especially interested in the dehumanizing effects of the death penalty, not only for the executioner but for us all. While excelling in its subtle approach for most of its length, the movie tries too hard to drive its point home towards the end, especially with a very predictable subplot. At the same time, the wonderful Juliet Stevenson is pushed further and further into thankless territory.[/font]
June 16, 2008
Harlequin68
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

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