- Purchase any product from the Film and TV Store sold by Amazon.co.uk and receive £1 to use on any music download in our MP3 Store. Here's how (terms and conditions apply)
Is the famous twist ending a cop-out? That depends just how much irony you read into it. But the Brighton atmosphere, all tawdry gaiety shot through with a crackling undercurrent of fear, is so vivid you can smell it. Made with a cool, dispassionate eye by the Boulting Brothers (before they turned jokey with the likes of I'm Alright Jack, for instance) and superbly shot by Harry Waxman, this is one of Britain's few great contributions to the noir thriller cycle. Young Dickie, twitchy, vicious and terrified, is a revelation--and don't miss William Hartnell, the original Dr Who, as his cynical sidekick. --Philip Kemp
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.Read more ›
This product's forum
Search Customer Discussions