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Pierrepoint [Blu-ray]

4.6 out of 5 stars 254 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Timothy Spall, Juliet Stevenson, Eddie Marsan, Cavan Clerkin, James Corden
  • Directors: Adrian Shergold
  • Producers: Christine Langan
  • Format: Blu-ray
  • Region: Region B/2 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Lions Gate Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: 7 Dec. 2009
  • Run Time: 90 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (254 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002KAIW1M
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 53,816 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)
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Product description

Product Description

Dramatic true-life story of Albert Pierrepoint (Timothy Spall), Britain's most notorious hangman. Following in the footsteps of his father and uncle before him, Albert joins the 'family business' in 1934. Living a secret life as a master hangman, as well as a humble grocery deliveryman and loyal husband, Pierrepoint's reputation as the most highly regarded executioner in the land results in him executing some of Britain's most infamous murderers including Derek Bentley and Ruth Ellis, and also the Nazi war criminals convicted at the Nuremberg Trials. But the media coverage from these shatters Pierrepoint's closely guarded anonymity turning him into a minor celebrity.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is the story of one of Britain’s last hangmen, Albert Pierrepoint (1905-92), admirably played by Timothy Spall. It’s also a study in shame and pride. The shame is social and moral. Socially the ‘profession’ is abhorrent. No respectable person would choose to enter it. Morally, it’s guilt inflicting. Judicial judgement says Pierrepoint is not a murderer, but his conscience may suggest otherwise. In the film we see his sleepless nights, so we know he is not made of stone. Pride? Possibly a peculiarity of Pierrepoint himself due to family circumstances. He comes from a line of executioners (father and uncle). It’s in the family blood, so to speak. Traditional and conservative as he is, he means to carry on, even as the profession is dying out in Britain. He’s a relic and he knows it, but he’s also stubborn. This is what I do for a living, he thinks, and he does it well. He’s fast and efficient, no fuss, fumbling, hesitation (proud also to know the condemned die quickly, their suffering soon over). In a strange way, he’s humane. At any rate, he won’t be put out to pasture just because the times and attitudes are changing.

The film opens in 1932 when Albert is 27. He is single, lives with Mum and his Uncle Thomas, his father having passed on. He works in a grocery store in Manchester as a drayman, delivering goods. In a sweet shop two doors down from the grocery is a lass he’s sweet on. Annie is her name and she works there most days. Their courtship is long due to penury. They will not marry until they have proper funds. That day finally arrives in 1943.

In 1931, Albert first wrote to the Prisoners Commission Office, stating his desire to become an assistant executioner. He had in mind to assist his uncle in executions.
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This is a very understated film with two mesmerising central performances from Timothy Spaull and Juliet Stephenson. It tells simply the story of Albert Pierrepoint who was one of the government's executioners. He was so appalled by the poor training he was given and the ghastly ends of some prisoners that he unilaterally devised a method and procedure for hanging a condemned prisoner that minimised fear, distress and pain. During the course of his career he hanged hundreds of condemned criminals - many of these following the Nuremberg trials.
The film makes many points about capital punishment (most especially that death itself is the punishment not fear, pain and humiliation as well) but not in a heavy handed way; it also shows the toll on the executioners themselves. A thoughtful and thought provoking film
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A viable performance by Timothy Spall as Albert Pierrepoint but the problem with Timothy Spall is that he is such a bold and well known personality that when you see Pierrepoint, you see Timothy Spall. I am sure this film was well intended when it was devised but I found it to be far too documentary, slow moving, padded out and lacking in depth of story. It is boringly repetitive, Pierrepoint prided himself on being able to complete his task supremely quickly and it took only about 20 seconds from him and his assistant entering the cell and marching the prisoner to the trapdoor and the drop taking place, the problem being in the film that after about three of these ultra quick march, noose and trapdoor opening scenes, it becomes boring but that is the major theme of if it all, he was a hangman after all and when you boil it all down, the life of a hangman is rather a repeat of the same well honed sequence over and over. Pierrepoint dispatched so many through the trapdoor in his career, no one knows exactly how many, the Home Office don't know and he didn't know but the estimate is somewhere between 435 and 600 and includes 200 war criminals.

Alright, that will do. . . yawn. Another one for the charity bag.
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I wasn't familiar with the story of Britain's last executioner so this was fascinating, even if some elements are not strictly true, like Pierrepoint's friendship with a man he later executes. Timothy Spall is perfect in this role of pub landlord an hangman – genial one minute, grim the next. He really communicates the man's struggle with his 'part time job' as well as his pride in it and how quickly he does it, inherited from his father. The executions throughout the film are not gratuitously portrayed but nevertheless shocking at times, especially when Pierrepoint goes to Germany after the war to execute war criminals by the dozen. That's quite an eye opener. I found the film quite riveting. Recommended.
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Brilliant, I have watched this move over & over again. Timothy Spall portrayed the Hangman fantastically.
You won't be disappointed if you purchase this DVD.
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A sincere portrayal of one of Britain's hangmen. It shows a compassionate side to an executioners' character.
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By Charles TOP 500 REVIEWER on 30 Oct. 2015
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
Its a nice film but the picture quality is just a grainy washed out version of a SD transfer, you would do just as well buying on DVD if that's cheaper.
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thoroughly enjoyed
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