In 1952, in a case that still haunts the British conscience, 19-year-old Derek Bentley (Christopher Eccleston) was hanged for the murder of a policeman who had been shot while the unarmed Bentley was already in custody. Let Him Have It (made with the cooperation of Derek’s sister, Iris) looks at first like a standard postwar period piece, complete with ration coupons and a flashback to a London air raid, but becomes under the direction of Peter Medak (The Krays) a chiaroscuro drama of unstoppable tragedy. Full of God’s-eye-view overhead shots and close-ups of Eccleston’s endlessly expressive face, the film is only slightly cramped on video; in fact, the boxiness of the action on the small screen mimics the constricted nature of Derek Bentley’s short life. A-

Let Him Have It
  • Movie
  • 115 minutes