Let Him Have It

Overview

The Derek Bentley Case has been an uneasy blight on the British legal system since the early 1950s. Two young, frightened boys were caught by police trying to break into to a building. One of the boys had a gun. When the policeman reached out to the youth to turn over the gun, his friend shouted "Let him have it," and the policeman was killed by a gun blast. Whether the boy understood "Let him have it" to mean he should turn over the gun or to kill the police officer has been debated ever since. But the result ...
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Overview

The Derek Bentley Case has been an uneasy blight on the British legal system since the early 1950s. Two young, frightened boys were caught by police trying to break into to a building. One of the boys had a gun. When the policeman reached out to the youth to turn over the gun, his friend shouted "Let him have it," and the policeman was killed by a gun blast. Whether the boy understood "Let him have it" to mean he should turn over the gun or to kill the police officer has been debated ever since. But the result was the 19-year-old boy was executed for the crime -- only to be posthumously exonerated in 1953. In this dark and biting film by Peter Medak, the life of Derek Bentley Chris Eccleston that led up to the crime is recreated in pitiful detail, as well as the ensuing trial and execution. The story begins in 1952, when the likable Bentley is released from reform school. Bentley is an impressionable young man who returns home to his loving family -- his parents Tom Courtenay and Eileen Atkins and sister Clare Holman -- but becomes involved with a group of friends, led by the intimidating Chris Paul Reynolds, who live in the poverty of post-World War II Britain and escape their bleak world by emulating the American gangster films they see at the local cinema. They play-act at being gansters, but with real guns ... and tragic results.
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Special Features

Audio commentary by director Peter Medak; Theatrical trailer
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
1991's Let Him Have It is a stylish example of British film's tradition of social realism and class consciousness. Based on the 1952 trial and execution of Derek Bentley, a 19-year-old retarded boy who was the victim of circumstance and gullibility, the film is as concerned with society's corruption of innocence as with the injustice of the British legal system. The accomplished debut performance from Christopher Eccleston gives the film emotional weight, and Tom Courtenay, who made his name in such prototypical English "social commentary" films as The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner, also stands out as Derek's father. The film was originally to be directed by Alex Cox (Repo Man, Sid and Nancy) but, when he insisted on shooting in black-and-white, the producers brought in Peter Medak, who had previously directed another slice of British crime history, The Krays.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 12/13/2005
  • UPC: 014381162226
  • Original Release: 1991
  • Rating:

  • Source: Image Entertainment
  • Region Code: 1
  • Time: 1:50:00
  • Format: DVD

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Christopher Eccleston Derek Bentley
Paul Reynolds Chris Craig
Tom Courtenay William Bentley
Eileen Atkins Lilian Bentley
Clare Holman Iris Bentley
Tom Bell Fairfax
Mark McGann Niven Craig
Michael Gough Lord Goddard
Michael Elphick Prison Warden
Murray Melvin
Clive Revill
James Villiers
Christopher Atkins
Lucy Boulting
Ian Dean
Ronald Fraser
Norman Rossington
Bert Tyler-Moore
Robert Morgan PC Miles
Technical Credits
Peter Medak Director
Jane Frazer Associate Producer
Henry Harris Art Director
Michael Kamen Score Composer
Ray Lovejoy Editor
Michael Pickwoad Production Designer
Neal Purvis Screenwriter
Luc Roeg Producer
Oliver Stapleton Cinematographer
Pam Tait Costumes/Costume Designer
Jeremy Thomas Producer
Robert Wade Screenwriter
Robert Warr Producer
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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Let Him Have It
1. Main Title; London 1941 [3:56]
2. Seven Years Later [3:14]
3. 12 Months In [6:46]
4. Welcome to the Underworld [6:21]
5. The Gang [4:37]
6. Guns in the Classroom [3:04]
7. Smokes and Threads [8:58]
8. Out All Night [6:58]
9. Minding His Own [6:06]
10. A Walk With Monty [12:00]
11. Blood on the Rooftops [10:38]
12. The Trial [8:40]
13. Closing Arguments [4:45]
14. The Verdict [5:45]
15. Wanting What's Right [7:28]
16. One Last Glimmer [8:20]
17. 9:00 AM [4:49]
18. End Credits [2:33]
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Menu

Disc #1 -- Let Him Have It
   Play Feature
   Scene Selection
   Audio Selection
      Dolby Digital 5.1
      Dolby Digital 2.0
      Isolated Score
      Commentary By Director Peter Medak
   Theatrical Trailer
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