The Executioner's Song (1982) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Executioner's Song1982

The Executioner's Song (1982)





Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

The Executioner's Song Photos

Movie Info

Tommy Lee Jones won an Emmy for his searing performance as wanton killer Gary Gilmore in The Executioner's Song. The film covers the last nine months of Gilmore's life, beginning with his release from prison in 1976. Linking up with teen-age divorcee Nicole Baker (Rosanna Arquette), Gilmore makes a half-hearted effort to go straight, but ends up embarking on a robbery spree that culminates in two cold-blooded murders. Arrested and sentenced to be executed, Gilmore insists upon being put to death (Utah law required a firing squad for this); he spends his final days as a poster boy for anti-death penalty activists and as a "client" for an entrepreneur (Steven Keats) who wants to make a film of Gilmore's life. Adapted by Norman Mailer from his own book, The Executioner's Song originally aired in two parts on November 28 and 29, 1982. It has since been boiled down to a 97-minute theatrical film for European consumption, with additional scenes of violence and nudity.

Watch it now


Tommy Lee Jones
as Gary Gilmore
Rosanna Arquette
as Nicole Baker
Eli Wallach
as Uncle Vern Damico
Christine Lahti
as Brenda Nicol
Steven Keats
as Larry Samuels
Walter Olkewicz
as Pete Galovan
Michael Le Clair
as Rikki Wood
Pat Corley
as Val Conlan
John Dennis Johnston
as Jimmy Poker-Game
Kenneth W. O'Brien
as Spencer McGrath
Jim Youngs
as Sterling Baker
Grace Zabriskie
as Kathryne Baker
Richard Venture
as Earl Dorius
Rance Howard
as Lieutenant Nelson
Kenneth White
as Warden Smith
John Chappell
as Ron Stanger
Charles Cyphers
as Noall Wootton
Susan French
as Bessie Gilmore
Grant Gottschall
as Mikal Gilmore
Robert Boon
as Doctor #1
H.E.D. Redford
as Norman Fulmer
Russ McGinn
as First Patrolman
Oscar Rowland
as Judge #1
Jay Bernard
as Prison Official
Thomas A. Carlin
as Speaker #1
Jenny Wright
as April Baker
View All

Critic Reviews for The Executioner's Song

All Critics (1) | Top Critics (1)

Although the quality of the book's dialogue gives the film its distinctive style, that kind of literary magic is not readily transferrable from page to screen.

December 13, 2017 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Executioner's Song

There are no featured audience reviews yet. Click the link below to see what others say about The Executioner's Song!

The Executioner's Song Quotes

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

News & Features