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on November 3, 2014
After the Motion Picture Production Code was enforced in 1934, the gangster genre, which before had more or less glamorized the criminal's lifestyle, now began to make a concentrated effort to depict lawmen as heroes.

Two movies were released in 1935 that championed the newly re-structured Department of Justice which became known as The Federal Bureau of Investigation. Warner Bros. gave us G-MEN with former gangster James Cagney on the side of the law, and United Artists answered with LET 'EM HAVE IT. Both are rapidly paced, hard-hitting dramas that follow the officers' training and focus on the FBI's methods of detecting crime, besides offering the customary tommy gun-blazing action.

Tautly directed by Sam Wood, LET 'EM HAVE IT stars Richard Arlen, Harvey Stevens, and Gordon Jones as a trio of newly recruited federal agents assigned to break up a kidnapping/robbery racket run by cold-blooded hood Bruce Cabot. Virginia Bruce and Eric Linden co-star as brother and sister socialites for whom Cabot was employed as chauffeur. Linden joins the Bureau upon Arlen's recommendation and moves in on Cabot, who promptly murders his former employer. A couple of more twists in the plot ensue before the final shoot 'em up climax.

There are a few things about LET 'EM HAVE IT that distinguish it from your run of the mill cops and robbers yarn. The scenes depicting the FBI's utilization of forensics and ballistics circa 1935 are interesting, and all the performances are solid. A particular standout is Bruce Cabot who, only two years prior had his breakthrough role as the hero in KING KONG. Here, he's an embittered killer with the single-minded ambition to acquire a million dollars. Along the way he decides to visit a plastic surgeon and have his face altered to avoid detection. The scene where Cabot's bandages are removed is surprising and chilling when it's revealed that the doctor had carved the mobster's initials on his face.

The Sony DVD of LET 'EM HAVE IT looks nice and sharp, with well balanced contrast and gray levels. The soundtrack is clean with dialogue registering loud and clear. There's a chapter index but no extras.

A fine, action filled thriller, LET 'EM HAVE IT is well recommended for classic film buffs.
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on October 21, 2016
Besides being a typical cops-and-robbers story with a side order of romance, this is also a propaganda film for the newly formed FBI. It spends some time discussing recruitment and showing the best forensic techniques available. The plot is rather straightforward and predictable. There is one nice twist involving a plastic surgery performed on the chief villain. The acting is for the most part of the wooden variety as was not uncommon in the 1930s, and things seem a bit hurried to produce a rather forced happy ending. 3 stars
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on August 4, 2015
PLOT: 3 MEN go through FBI training to bring in "Keefer" public enemy #1~

This starts with the FBI selecting and training new agents. They are put through fire arms, forensic and legal training. One of their first "cases" is a shifty chauffer named Keefer. Keefer has big plans, about a MILLION dollars worth. His first scheme is to help kidnap his heiress boss. The FBI phone taps and trails him and stops the kidnapping. Keefer is "acquitted" due to lack of evidence and the heiress hiring the best lawyers for him. But he ends up in Prison for a "concealed" weapons charge. When released he helps his CON buddies escape and they go for robbing banks. The FBI is hot on the trail but Keefer go to a surgeon to get his FACE surgically altered. Keefer and his mob are hiding at an Inn. The FBI convince Keefers former girlfriend to "turn on him" and give them the hideout location after they show her an altered photo and convince her Keefer has dumped her. When Keefer removes his "surgical bandages" he is in for a big surprise. The surgeon got even. AS the FBI agents close in there is one final shoot out. This is a very well done movie. We see the latest at that time FBI agent training. And the fun "hideouts" the gangs stay at. I give this one 4 STARS~
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on April 29, 2015
This was interesting as an eatly "G-Man" film but quite frankly I fell asleep 20 minutes before the ending. The film was so lackluster that I didn't go back to see who died and who got the girl. The film desperately needed a character, like Cagney or Bogart or even George Murphy to love or hate. These people were boring.
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on May 8, 2015
Thriller to the end... Not for family viewing very violent.. Gangsters shooting and killing cold-blood.
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ok
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on September 11, 2016
Good quality Richard Arlen piece in an atypical role.
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on January 27, 2017
my kind of movie !
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on February 28, 2015
I like old movies
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on June 18, 2015
Enjoyed the movie
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