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Brighton Rock [1947] [DVD]

86 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Richard Attenborough, Hermione Baddeley, William Hartnell, Harcourt Williams, Wylie Watson
  • Directors: John Boulting
  • Writers: Graham Greene, Terence Rattigan
  • Producers: Peter De Sarigny, Roy Boulting
  • Format: PAL
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Warner
  • DVD Release Date: 16 Sept. 2002
  • Run Time: 88 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (86 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00006JNAV
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 14,053 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

Roy Boulton directs this classic adaptation of the Graham Greene novel detailing the activities of a group of thugs in 1930s Brighton. Pinkie Brown (Richard Attenborough) is the head of a gang of small time crooks who make their money from a protection racket centred around Brighton race course. Pinkie is known for his short fuse and brutality, so his murder of a rival, Fred (Alan Wheatley), is very much in character. Pinkie believes, nonetheless, that he has got away with the crime until the promptings of a suspicious local woman, Ida (Hermione Baddeley), threaten to have the case reopened. Since only one person can identify him as the murderer, the waitress, Rose Brown (Carol Marsh), Pinkie comes up with an ingenious solution - marry Rose to stop her testifying against him. But will things go to plan?

From Amazon.co.uk

Rightly regarded as a genuine classic of British cinema, Brighton Rock has stood the test of time remarkably well to emerge as a tense, original thriller. Although there is much that is old-fashioned here (particularly the less than convincing East End accents), the tale of feuding gangster factions holds up favourably compared to modern-day efforts. In place of the now all-too-familiar violence is a quiet, brooding menace with much of the black and white film shot in the dark shadows of the underworld. Richard Attenborough holds it all together with his remarkable portrayal of young gangster Pinkie, exuding a threatening aura while often saying very little. Not surprisingly, given its base in Graham Greene's famous novel, the film has an exceptionally strong storyline that is matched by the directions and performances. A good lesson in timeless film making.

On the DVD: Brighton Rock on disc sadly is a package with nothing to offer over the standard video release. The black and white footage shows little sign of remastering, nor does the soundtrack. There are no extras whatsoever—this is surely a massive oversight given the classic nature of the film itself. --Phil Udell

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

55 of 57 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 17 Oct. 2002
Format: DVD
Brighton Rock, Graham Greene's novel about the British criminal underworld, has been improved by this adaptation for the screen. Most movies are worse than the book, this movie is better.
On the surface the story is easily told. Set in post-WW2 Brighton, the story revolves around the activities of teenage gangster "Pinkie". He commits murder, courts and marries the witness to prevent her bearing testimony against him.
For Greene this story seems to have had a wider meaning and his novel invites the reader to reflect on the moral, metaphysical and theological significance of these events. The movie invites this multi-layered analysis too and viewers can be as cerebral as they wish as they try to work out the "moral" in this morality tale set in the jolly-sinister carnival atmosphere of Bank Holiday Brighton.
But there are other pleasure too. Firstly, it has to be one of the best performances Attenborough has given. He is more memorable for this chilling performance as the demonic "Pinkie".
than anything else I've seen him in. Other performances also get under the skin, especially "Ida", Pinkie's nemesis.
Secondly, there is the pleasure of the black-and-white, highly atmospheric camera work, the lip-smacking scene setting, the delightful character acting, and a trip in time to a period in British history that is rarely represented in cinema (or any other format). This is one of those movies you watch over and over just to see the clothes people used to wear and how they used to hold their beer glasses or eat ice-cream.
Thirdly, there is the pleasure of contrasting this movie with other gangster movies e.g. from USA or Japan, especially those featuring teenage gangsters. You can never watch Marlon Brando or James Dean after this without contrasting them with Pinkie.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Spike Owen TOP 500 REVIEWER on 5 Jun. 2011
Format: DVD
Brighton Rock is directed by John Boulting and written by Graham Greene (also 1938 novel) and Terence Rattigan. Produced by Roy Boulting, it stars Richard Attenborough, Carol Marsh, William Hartnell, Hermione Baddeley, Harcourt Williams and Wylie Watson. Music is scored by Hans May and cinematography is by Harry Waxman. Plot finds Attenborough as small time Brighton hoodlum Pinkie Brown, whose attempts to cover up a murder sees events spiral out of control for himself and those closest to him.

1947 was a good year for tough, gritty British drama, in fact it was a key year in the progression of British cinema. It was the year that would see the release of They Made Me A Fugitive, It Always Rains On Sunday, Odd Man Out and Brighton Rock. The latter film, arguably the one that looks the most dated, is the one that shocked the most upon its release. Refreshing, then, to find that in spite of the aged edges of the narrative frame, it still today has a power, a bleakness, that justifies the classic status afforded it. Part seedy seaside noir, part character driven observation on Catholic guilt and torment, Brighton Rock overcomes some slight old time technical flaws to thrive on thematic potency and a tense narrative.

Many authors find their respective work losing impetus during the translation to the big screen, Graham Greene is one who hasn't had to suffer in that department. Key issue for those adapting his work is to understand the characterisations at work, thankfully the Boulting brothers grasp that Pinkie Brown, surely one of Greene's greatest creations, has a complexity that needs him front and centre of the brewing maelstrom. The plot then tumbles out around him, as the seedy underbelly of Brighton's everyday life is exposed.
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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Nobody VINE VOICE on 16 Oct. 2006
Format: DVD
`Brighton Rock' is essentially a tale of a teenage gangster, Pinkie Brown, and his attempts to silence a potential witness, Rose, to a crime. John Boulting (Thunder Rock, 1942; I'm All Right Jack, 1959) directed it in 1947 and was producer by his twin brother Roy. The screenplay was adapted from the Graham Greene novel of the same name by Terence Rattigan. There are significant differences at the ending of the film in relation to the novel (the book is more brutal) but I think that it takes nothing away from the film or the book. Due to BBFC rules at the time some changes had to made to the intended ending (the record scene) of the film because they wanted it to have a happy ending, which I think in retrospect made it better. The only feature really missing is the strength of character development one could only expect from a novel. However saying all that, the adaptation is excellent.

`Brighton Rock' featured two brilliant performances from Richard Attenborough (In Which We Serve, 1942; A Matter Of Life And Death, 1946) as Pinkie and Carol Marsh as Rose. Richard's performance is a career highlight for him, which could be regarded as the emergence of the `angry young man' in British cinema, but it was Carol's performance that I really loved. Her performance of innocence is something we so rarely see in modern cinema that it is remarkably refreshing to watch. One thing worth pointing out though is that Rose in the novel was not quite as pretty and we see more of her family life and the possible reason for her attachment to Pinkie. Carol Marsh never made many other significant films that I feel it's a bit of a shame because I think we've missed something there. I place her performance alongside Dorothy Malone's bit part in `The Big Sleep' (1946) who we also never saw enough of sadly.
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