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The Last Man Hanged (1992)

Documentary about the hanging of Ronald Ryan in Australia in 1967.


Lewis Fitz-Gerald
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Colin Friels ... Ronald Ryan
Lewis Fitz-Gerald ... Keith Willey
Angie Milliken ... Dorothy Ryan
John Clayton John Clayton ... Father John Brosnan
Ronald Falk ... Governor Ian Grindlay
Graham Harvey Graham Harvey ... Peter Walker
Ronald Graham Ronald Graham ... The Hangman
Chris Haywood ... The Sheriff
David Downer David Downer ... Dr. Allen Bartholomew
John Sheerin John Sheerin ... Journalist
Jim Holt Jim Holt ... Journalist
John Gregg John Gregg ... Journalist
Peter Carmody Peter Carmody ... Journalist
Donal Gibson ... Warder
Russell Newman Russell Newman ... Warder


Documentary about the hanging of Ronald Ryan in Australia in 1967.

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Crime | Drama







Release Date:

1992 (Australia) See more »

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Did You Know?


During the execution scene, a noose fashioned from a 13 coil knot is used to hang Ryan. By the time that the real execution took place (in 1967), the judicial system in Australia had long phased out this style of noose and were instead using a noose fashioned out of a brass eyelet stitched into the end if the rope. See more »

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User Reviews

Who really fired the fatal shot?
29 February 2012 | by dlissonSee all my reviews

To this day, there is still fiery debate on the Ronald Ryan capital case and hanging.

There was no scientific ballistic forensic evidence to prove guilt, dire ambiguities in the capital case, serious inconsistencies of all fourteen witnesses for the prosecution, mysterious missing pieces of vital evidence that could have cleared Ryan, testimony by another prison officer that he fired one single shot (heard by hundreds of witnesses - no person heard two shots fired) and the autopsy report/ballistic expert evidence that the one single fatal bullet was fired from a distance at an elevated position in a downward trajectory angle - impossible for Ryan to have fired at such an angle.

Ryan was convicted of murder based solely on unsigned unrecorded unproven allegations of verbals/confessions said to have been made by Ryan to police. Later, seven members of the jury went to the media claiming they would never have convicted Ryan had they known he would be executed. The seven jurors signed separate petitions urging authorities not to hang Ryan. But Ryan strongly denied ever making such verbals/confessions to anybody.

Despite the biggest public protests ever seen in the history of Australia and public petitions, including pleas from seven jurors not to execute Ryan, Victoria Premier Henry Bolte was determined Ryan would hang - this would boost his votes in the upcoming state elections. Ryan was hanged seven days before his unfunded final appeal (Bolte withdrew all public funds) to The Privy Council had made its decision on the execution. Ryan maintained his innocence to the end.

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