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How does Peter Medak gain the viewer's sympathy for Derek Bentley in the film "let him have it"?

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Introduction

Carl Phillips 7/23/02 How does Peter Medak gain the viewer's sympathy for Derek Bentley in the film "let him have it"? The Derek Bentley case started on the 9th December 1952, it lasted only 75 minutes long and at the end of the trial Bentley has a death sentence and Chris had life. They were both charged of murder. Derek Bentley was executed at the age of 19 on January 28, 1953. The film "let him have it" is based on this case; it is about the British legal system and how they got this case completely wrong. The director Peter Medak, makes you feel the pain and emotion that Derek and his family were feeling at the time this happened. Medak does this in such a way that you could cry when Derek and his family were both happy and sad. He proves throughout the film that injustice was done, and uses acts of bias to get this point across to us as the audience. Normally when bias is used, you would think that it was for something bad but Medak uses bias in many different ways throughout this film. ...read more.

Middle

Today if you do get charged with murder, you would not get the death penalty unless you had killed allot of people, or that the murder was so harsh that you needed to die for it. Christopher Craig received life and was held at her majesty's pleasure, he was released in 1963 and only he really knows the truth. Just to summarize the main points why Derek Bentley should not have been hung are, Bentley did not poses or fire a gun, therefore he could not have killed PC Miles. Secondly Bentley was under arrest at the time of PC miles murder. Derek had the mental age of an 11 year old so he shouldn't have even been in court. I leave you with this statement, At the time a death penatly was only given to somebody over the age of 18, so would it be right for a person with the mental age of an 11 year old to be executed? Peter Medak has gained our sympathy for Derek by using many different camera angles, music and other techniques. The main way that he has gained sympathy is by using bias. ...read more.

Conclusion

They gave him a drink of some drug, maybe GHB to make him feel no pain and then they put the rope round his neck and drop the floor, his shoes fall off and Derek was dead. The camera then goes over to Derek's family who are huddled together crying and preying for the best. The clock resembles a lot in the film as the time of the execution was at 9:00 am. In conclusion I feel that Peter Medak has successfully delivered the message that he was trying to put across to the audience. The film has two messages to it; is capitol punishment right? And was injustice done? I think that Medak wanted to say these two points; he feels that the punishment was not right for the crime committed. Obviously I feel that the punishment was wrong and even now 30 or so years after the execution I still feel for him and what his family went through. Peter Medak's use of skill's and knowledge did show throughout the film, he used great camera shot's and music to make you feel that tiny bit more sorry for Derek. I have found this very interesting and I have followed up on this, this was the last hanging in Great Britain, and if that system were here today a lot more people would be dead. R.I.P Derek Bentley 1934-1953 3 ...read more.

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