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Led by a gripping performance from Christopher Eccleston, Let Him Have It sounds a compelling call for justice on behalf of its real-life protagonist. Read critic reviews

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Movie Info

In this fact-based film, British working class teens Derek Bentley (Christopher Eccleston) and Chris Craig (Paul Reynolds) take to behaving like the film noir antiheroes they idolize, and Chris begins carrying a gun to look the part. Unfortunately, the boys have a run-in with a police officer that takes a tragic turn, and Derek and Chris end up on trial for murder. While Chris is still a minor and faces only a prison sentence, the older Derek will be put to death if he can't prove his innocence.

Cast & Crew

Paul Reynolds
Chris Craig
Tom Courtenay
William Bentley
Eileen Atkins
Lilian Bentley
Clare Holman
Iris Bentley
Mark McGann
Niven Craig
Michael Gough
Lord Goddard
Michael Elphick
Prison Officer Jack
Murray Melvin
Secondary School Teacher
Luc Roeg
Producer
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Critic Reviews for Let Him Have It

All Critics (37) | Top Critics (17) | Fresh (31) | Rotten (6)

  • Courtenay slowly works his way into the center of the movie's sympathies. When he embraces his remaining family at the moment of his son's execution, his sorrow seems boundless.

    October 28, 2014 | Full Review…
  • As the protagonist/victim, Eccleston gives a superb, riveting performance in his feature-film debut, as does Reynolds, another newcomer who deftly handles the role of the gun-crazy and trigger-happy Chris.

    October 28, 2014 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…
  • Let Him Have It is unabashedly weighted toward the perspective of the murderer as victim -- a notion that does not enjoy much public currency in our more violent times. But if ever there was a victim of the judicial system, it was Derek Bentley.

    October 28, 2014 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…
  • The script, by Neal Purvis and Robert Wade, finds enough quirks in its protagonists to lift them above the issues-movie premise. Michael Kamen's atmospheric chamber score is also crucial to the film's success.

    October 28, 2014 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…
  • A chiaroscuro drama of unstoppable tragedy.

    October 28, 2014 | Rating: A- | Full Review…
  • Fairness isn't the issue here, dramatic depth is: You don't have to favor capital punishment to feel yourself being manipulated.

    October 28, 2014 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Let Him Have It

  • May 22, 2010
    Quite a strong movie, based on a true story, highlighting miscarriage of justice.
    familiar s Super Reviewer
  • Jan 26, 2009
    Well made, dramatic case study of the crime, trial and subsequent execution of Derek Bentley. Director Peter Medak and a very talented cast have put together a powerful argument against capital punishment and a scathing indictment of Britain's jurisprudence.
    Randy T Super Reviewer
  • Aug 05, 2008
    a pretty good film about petty crime and punishment in 1950s england. christopher eccleston is really quite a good actor and he shows it here. he plays a bit of a special case (as in a bit retarded or something) and well it's pretty obvious that the pigs should've realised he shouldn't have ever gone to court. oh well, same old with the bacon bastards! just a shame eccleston didn't have his re-tardis with him here
    Sanity Assassin ! Super Reviewer
  • Apr 09, 2007
    Intelligent drama in which a mentally challenged petty criminal is railroaded onto the gallows, causing the establishment to re-evaluate it's use of the death penalty. Well acted and thought provoking.
    xGary X Super Reviewer

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