Synopsis by Jason Buchanan
The life and career of the last in a long line of highly praised British executioners is explored in this drama directed by Adrian Shergold and starring Timothy Spall in the role of Albert Pierrepoint. As a youth, Pierrepoint was discouraged from pursuing the family career by a mother who claimed that the horrific line of work spurned his father to take up drink before eventually ushering him to an early grave. Despite his father's adverse reaction to the job's more gruesome details, Albert still thinks that he has what it takes to make it as an executioner and is soon rising to the upper echelon of hangmen thanks to his speed on the job and unwavering humanity. Eventually called before General Montgomery so that he may employ his skills in dispensing the Nuremberg criminals, Pierrepoint earns the respect and admiration of his fellow Britons just as his experiences in Germany stir his increasingly troubled conscience and abolitionists set into motion a heated campaign aimed at bringing the practice of hanging to an end.