Monday, April 16, 2012
Let 'Em Have It is a gritty little gangster pic made as the film industry was pressured to glorify the good, hard-working long arm of the law over the bad guys. The film follows three young FBI recruits, played by Richard Arlen, Henry Stephens and Gordon Jones, as they pursue an attempted extortion/kidnapping case involving the family of socialite Virginia Bruce. Produced by indie Edward Small Productions, this was a decent, faced-paced flick with more action and violence that what you’d normally expect from a ’30s-era picture. The story is very similar to the James Cagney vehicle G-Men, with all its straightforward and often unintentionally funny procedural scenes. Although it lacks the nuance of that film, it's a moderately interesting actioner.
Joyce's appearance in Let 'Em Have It is a blink-and-you'll-miss-it turn the pretty girlfriend of an eager-beaver young agent played by actor Eric Linden (seen below in a publicity still with Joyce). Her inconsequential role amounts to a couple of brief scenes - and she doesn't even appear at the funeral when Linden's character is killed! Miss Compton's talents would have been put to better use if she'd been cast as one of the film's two gangsters' floozies. Those colorful characters are played by Dorothy Appleby and Barbara Pepper - who both do a pretty good job.
Let 'Em Have It received a DVD release in 2005 as part of Sony Wonder's Gangsters, Guns & Floozies Crime Collection. The film is decently presented on disc with no extras. Buy at Amazon.com here.