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Peter madak’s film let him

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British society in the 1950’s wasn’t good. The Crime rate was very high as after the war. This is because there were a lot of guns lying around for children to take.

Because it was hard to get perfume, alcohol, cigarettes or clothes, they were sold at markets. There were gangs who wanted to be like the gangsters in films they had seen, so they got hold of guns, so they could ‘ look the part’ and quite possibly use them. Many films were made to portray this society such as dance with a stranger(Ruth Ellis) ’10 Rillington Place’ Christie Murders, to show viewers what life was like after the war, the conditions they lived in and there point of view of what 1950’s lifestyle was like. The acknowledged facts of the Christopher Craig and Derek Bentley case are that Derek Bentley was hanged for murder although he didn’t actually commit the crime and got hanged for saying the words ‘ Let him have it.

‘ This case was much known in the 1950’s as locals and the press were outraged that Derek Bentley was being penalized for Christopher Craig’s actions. Christopher Craig was too young to be hanged so he went to prison, so because Christopher Craig killed a police officer the other police officers wanted justice because of one of there officers was killed they wanted someone to suffer even if the person who didn’t do it got punished for it. Peter Madak’s film ‘ Let Him have It.’ stars Christopher Ecclesta as 19 year old Derek Bentley. Bentley’s parents are played by Tom Courtenay and Eileen Atkins. After seeing the film it looks like the director wanted to portray a typical gangster film with the Christopher Craig and his gang actors acting like gangsters then a spectacular reenactment of what happened on the roof on the night PC Miles was shot.

My first reactions to the film was that it was well put together and the characterization was very good, although the director used the real facts in film but they were also very exaggerated. But the film was very believable and they put in very good special effects to make the film more eye-catching and engaging. The two boys are presented differently to each other in the film. Derek is more ‘ laid back,’ and the sort of person that follows what everyone else is doing, whereas Christopher Craig is the leader of the gang and controls everything. In the scene where he decides to rob the factory and Derek isn’t too sure Christopher persuades him to. The other two gang members weren’t sure so Christopher Craig took control and told them to go home if they didn’t want to help them.

My feeling towards Christopher Craig’s character is that I have no sympathy for him. He is manipulative and childish, whereas Derek is a lovely natured character but show signs of weaknesses and vulnerability I can tell this because there are a couple of scenes where he lets Christopher Craig manipulate him, when they climbed up onto the roof with the intention of robbing the factory Christopher Craig persuaded him to go through with it. The film introduces Derek’s character as the main focus at the beginning, when we see him in his bedroom smoking it gave us an impression that he wasn’t right in the head as he said to his sister that he didn’t want to go out of the room. We are exposed to Christopher character so we can compare him to Derek. The film represents Christopher as coming from a bad background. The film shows their relationship as negative and one sided.

Also it shows the support of the country and explores the court case. The filmmaker shows Derek’s family in distress, when he was about to be hanged his family were looking petrified and upset and kept looking at the clock, then it shows Derek drinking some rum to numb the pain and the actual hanging, and they covered his head with a bag and the hanging process was done very quick. After seeing the film I would place the blame on Christopher Craig for what happened, I think he should have been put in prison until he was 18 then hanged, instead of hanging an innocent man. Derek was hanged just for saying the words ‘ let him have it’.

He could have meant. ‘ Let him have the gun’ not shoot him; I think the director wanted you to feel sorry for Derek but blame Christopher Craig for his actions. After seeing the Thames Documentary I know feel sorry for Christopher Craig and the way he speaks about the situation and he sounds so genuine. I feel more sympathetic as he says things like he never heard Derek say ‘ let him have it’. Also his actions are what he chose to do by himself and Derek didn’t influence him in anyway. I thought the film was very good.

The special effects were pretty spectacular. The director showed the story very well, and the characters were portrayed very well. The characters emotions were very clear and i could really feel what they were going through at times. I don’t think the film is a fair representation because on the Thames documentary Christopher Craig says that he helped make the film but when he saw it, the film was nothing like what he said it should have been.

He even wanted to stop it being released because there weren’t all truth in it.

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