7.2/10
3,159
35 user 23 critic

Let Him Have It (1991)

In 1950s England, slow-witted Derek Bentley (Christopher Eccleston) falls in with a group of petty criminals led by Chris Craig (Paul Reynolds), a teenager with a fondness for American ... See full summary »

Director:

Peter Medak
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Tom Courtenay ... William Bentley
Eileen Atkins ... Lillian Bentley
Rebecca Eccleston Rebecca Eccleston ... Iris aged 10
Peter Eccleston Peter Eccleston ... Derek aged 8
Craig Turner Craig Turner ... Derek aged 14
P.J. Nicholas P.J. Nicholas ... First Boy in Shed (as PJ Nicolas)
Bret Walker Bret Walker ... Second Boy in Shed
Walter Sparrow ... Nightwatchman
Christopher Eccleston ... Derek Bentley
Edward Hardwicke ... Approved School Principal (as Edward Hardwick)
Clare Holman ... Iris Bentley
Daniel Brazier Daniel Brazier ... Boy in Fairview Road
Ben Brazier ... Denis Bentley
Paul Reynolds ... Chris Craig
Serena Scott Thomas ... Stella
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Storyline

In 1950s England, slow-witted Derek Bentley (Christopher Eccleston) falls in with a group of petty criminals led by Chris Craig (Paul Reynolds), a teenager with a fondness for American gangster movies. Chris and Derek's friendship leads to their involvement in the case which would forever shake the United Kingdom's belief in capital punishment. Written by Scott Renshaw <as.idc@forsythe.stanford.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The shocking story of an unbelievable miscarriage of justice.

Genres:

Crime | Drama | History

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Derek Bentley was partially pardoned posthumously by Home Secretary Michael Howard, who said he should not have been hanged, but was still guilty. Bentley's conviction was later overturned by the Court of Appeal, who said that he had not had a fair trial because of the behavior of the trial judge, Lord Goddard. This movie has been credited for keeping the case in the public eye. See more »

Goofs

In the courtroom scenes where it shows Bentley and Craig sitting, it shows Craig's right arm in a sling. But when they come back into the courtroom after the jury deliberation, his left arm is in a sling. See more »

Quotes

Chris Craig: [about his brother's girlfriend] You know I could square it with Niv if you want a shot at her, I don't suppose he'd mind, not if you're a pal of mine.
See more »


Soundtracks

Bicycle Blues
Composed by Robert Ellen
Performed by 'Bob Gaddy & His Alley Cats'
See more »

User Reviews

Is Bentley really one of the Gang?
4 November 2003 | by frankiehudsonSee all my reviews

This is a very convincing film of the life of Derek Bentley and his eventual execution. 1950s Britain is just beginning to emerge from the years of post-War austerity with all of the milk bars, pop records and teddy boy youth culture showing a new, malign confidence. The undercurrent is definitely youth crime gone wild. But is Derek Bentley really one of the gang?

Christopher Eccleston is absolutely brilliant playing Bentley, and truly captures the inner torment and diffidence of a young man suffering from years of epilepsy and failure at school. Bentley is clearly not normal and probably more impressionable than most people of his age – this is the essence of this tragic story. He wants to be like everyone else but stupidly chooses the wrong people – or do they choose him?

You are never sure whether Bentley's friend Chris Craig (the brilliant Paul Reynolds) is a nasty piece of work or maybe someone else led astray, this time by his truly monstrous, menacing older brother Niven Craig (Mark McGann) who he sees receiving 10 years for armed resistance to police arrest. Who is Craig - is he Pinkie in Brighton Rock (Boulting 1947), Jimmy Hanley in the Blue Lamp (Dearden, 1950) or one of the famous five with a gun?

After his brother's trial, Chris lies down at night and then – rather poignantly and in a nice little flourish from director Peter Medak – lays down his handgun on his bedside table, finding a gap amongst his toy cars, trams and aeroplanes. Perhaps he's just a naïve little kid after all.

When the gang goes to the cinema what else would they watch but a Jimmy Cagney gangster movie? Maybe if they'd watched the Blue Lamp instead they would have been warned off.

Anyway, Bentley clearly did not murder the policeman on the rooftop - that was Craig (some say it was a policeman's bullet gone astray). Bentley was executed for a crime he did not commit, pure and simple.

Good, haunting musical score by Michael Kamen.


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Details

Country:

UK | France

Language:

English

Release Date:

January 1992 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Az igazság malmai See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$5,088, 8 December 1991

Gross USA:

$88,686

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$88,686
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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