The Executioner's Song (film)

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The Executioner's Song
Genre Biography
Distributed by NBC
Directed by Lawrence Schiller
Produced by Lawrence Schiller
Screenplay by Norman Mailer
Based on The Executioner's Song 
by Norman Mailer
Starring Tommy Lee Jones
Christine Lahti
Rosanna Arquette
Eli Wallach
Music by John Cacavas
Cinematography Freddie Francis
Editing by Richard A. Harris
Tom Rolf
Production company Film Communications Inc.
Country USA, Sweden
Language English
Original channel NBC
Release date November 28, 1982
Running time 157 minutes (U.S.)
136 minutes (Sweden)

The Executioner's Song was a 1982 made-for-television film adaptation Norman Mailer's 1979 book The Executioner's Song. The film is directed by Lawrence Schiller.[1]


The movie is about the final nine months of Gary Gilmore's life. In April 1976, Gilmore, 35, was released from prison after serving 12 years for robbery in Indiana. He was flown to Utah to live with Brenda Nicol, a distant cousin of his who tries to help him find work. Gilmore soon meets and becomes romantically involved with Nicole Baker, a 19-year-old separated woman with two young children. Despite his efforts to reform himself, Gilmore's self-destructive behavior leads to him getting into fights, stealing items from stores and abusing drugs. After Nicole breaks up with him, he murders two men in two separate robberies. Gilmore is turned in by his cousin and is sentenced to death. Gilmore becomes a national media sensation after he fights to have his execution performed as soon as possible. On January 17, 1977, Gilmore is executed by the method he chose, firing squad, making him the first person to be judicially executed in the United States since Luis Monge died in the Colorado gas chamber June 2, 1967.



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