Brian Trenchard-Smith on

Let Him Have It

Released 1991
Distributor Fine Line Features

The hangman Albert Pierrepoint (of Pierrepoint – The Last Hangman) makes a small but important appearance in Peter Medak’s 1991 film about the controversial 1953 execution of Derek Bentley for the murder of a policeman (even though Bentley merely egged on the actual shooter with the phrase, “Let him have it.”) The film stars Christopher Eccleston as the doomed Bentley, Tom Courtenay as his father and a supporting cast featuring a who’s who of British character actors including Edward Hardwicke (Watson of BBC’s Sherlock Holmes), Michael Gough (Horror of Dracula) and Clive Revill (The Legend of Hell House) as the executioner Pierrepoint. Even though Bentley’s words ” Let him have it ” were ambiguous when the policeman demanded the shooter hand over the gun, the jury, under prejudicial instruction from the judge, decided the words meant “Shoot him!”

About Brian Trenchard-Smith

Brian Trenchard-Smith has been burning to make genre films ever since seeing Hitchcock’s Vertigo at age 13. So far he has directed 42 Crimes Against Cinema, and counting (He’s an enthusiastic recidivist.) The Fantaspoa International Fantastic Film Festival recently gave him a career achievement award. His cult hits include The Man from Hong Kong, Turkey Shoot, BMX Bandits, Stunt Rock, Dead End Drive In, The Siege of Firebase Gloria. He has also made over 100 trailers ranging from Hammer horrors to Australian films of the 70′s and 80′s. His latest film is Drive Hard, a quirky action comedy with John Cusack and Thomas Jane. He hopes to shoot a Sci-Fi action picture in Tianjing, China later this year. Brian shares a passion for history with his wife Byzantine historian Dr. Margaret Trenchard-Smith. His first novel The Headsman's Daughter is available this summer on Amazon and Kindle.