Today on Trailers from Hell, the always-erudite Brian Trenchard-Smith introduces 2007's executioner drama "Pierrepoint: The Last Hangman," starring Timothy Spall, an Oscar hopeful this year in "Mr. Turner."
Timothy Spall stars in a fascinating character study about a compassionate executioner. Based on the true story of Albert Pierrepoint who presided over 400 hangings in England between 1932 and 1956 (including the Nazis tried at Nuremberg), Pierrepoint was considered England's most prolific hangman as well as its most humane (taking care to finish the job as swiftly as possible). In his 1974 memoir "Executioner: Pierrepoint," the then 69 year-old ex-executioner disavowed the death penalty as a plausible deterrent.