I streamed the flick The Executioner's Song last weekend. I remembered seeing it back in the 80s on TV and I always thought it was solely a made for TV movie - Tommy Lee Jones won an Emmy for playing the role of Gary Gilmore who was a career inmate and the first thug that the government whacked after the death penalty was reinstated in 1976 - but I was wrong as hell about it being a TV movie!
It had to have been edited like a son of a bitch to show it on network TV back then. The Netflix version has non-stop nudity and tons of adult language and the nudity was a very pleasant surprise since the actress who portrayed Gilmore's extreme loser girlfriend, Nicole Baker, was a very young and very hot Roseanna Arquette who has several full frontal nudity scenes and several other topless scenes. This was back in the day when breast implants weren't in vogue and boy did Roseanna have a fantastic natural rack!
Christine Lahti plays Gilmore's idiotic cousin - Brenda Nicol - who for some insane reason agreed to let Gilmore live with her after he got paroled out of Marion Federal prison. Gilmore who was in his thirties and had been doing time since he was fourteen and was a certifieable psychotic, repaid his cousin's kindness by promptly killing two innocent store clerks with a .22 revolver. But I'm digressing here. My point is that I wish Miss Lahti had joined in the nude scene fun! I forgot what a hot actress she was back in those days.
It's well worth checking out on Netflix and after some quick research I found a few fun facts about Mr. Gilmore:
His mother claimed that Gilmore was the grandson of Harry Houdini - I'm pretty sure that's bullshit since after you see the film you'll quickly realize that the entire Gilmore clan was slightly off their collective rockers although his half brother, Mikal Gilmore - and who writes for Rolling Stone - is a very respected journalist today.
Sweet Gary donated his organs (what a guy!) and a band from England called The Adverts had a top twenty hit in the UK called "Gary Gilmore's Eyes" and numerous other bands have referenced him in songs.
And supposedly the Nike slogan "Just Do It" was inspired by Gilmore's line of "Let's Do It" that he uttered just before the state of Utah pumped five rounds of lead into his cold dark heart.
Several witnesses at the execution claim that Utah firing squad actually shot Gilmore five times even though protocol calls for one of the rifles to fire a blank round. If that's true, Utah must have really wanted that son of a bitch dead! By the movie accounts, old Gary was a world class pain in the ass to the prison system and I'm sure they were glad to be done with him.
Check out this site for some more good Gilmore info if you're interested: