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The Executioner's Song (1982) (TV)

Directed by:
Lawrence Schiller
COUNTRY
USA

GENRE
Bio/Crime/Drama

NORWEGIAN TITLE
Saken Gary Gilmore

RUNNING TIME
136 minutes (European cut)

Produced by:
Lawrence Schiller

Written by (based on his own novel):
Norman Mailer


Cast includes:

CHARACTER ACTOR/ACTRESS RATING
Gary Gilmore Tommy Lee Jones
Brenda Nicol Christine Lahti
Nicole Baker Rosanna Arquette

Uncle Vern Damico

Eli Wallach
Larry Samuels Steven Keats -
Johnny Nicol Jordan Clarke -

Earl Dorius

Richard Venture -

April Baker

Jenny Wright -

Pete Galovan

Walter Olkewicz -

Rikki Wood

Michael LeClair -

Val Conlan

Pat Corley -

Lt. Johnson

Rance Howard -

Sterling Baker

Jim Youngs -

Kathryne Baker

Grace Zabriskie -

 

Review

A fine cast, spearheaded by Tommy Lee Jones' powerful performance as the erratic, bullheaded Gary Gilmore, help elevate this made-for-TV drama based on Norman Mailer's 1979 true crime novel into a simmering and at times engrossing picture. The production values are better than in your average TV productions of the era, and although Lawrence Schiller's direction and the reediting down from the original two-part format to the now available 136 minute cut give the film an unevenness in rhythm, the strong characterizations and profound writing make it transcend its obvious limitations. In its best moments, The Executioner's Song touches upon timeless truths. Christine Lahti and Eli Wallach give very sympathetic performances as Gilmore's cousin and uncle, respectively. And Rosanna Arquette is exquisite as his girlfriend.

Copyright 27.08.2023 Fredrik Gunerius Fevang

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