Brighton Rock  [DVD]
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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?
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 whatsoeverthis is surely a massive oversight given the classic nature of the film itself. --Phil UdellSee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
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 ›
`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.Read more ›
The blacks are rich and detail you have to see to believe. The extras while light are very very good and I honestly don't think you could add any more to the package. A running commentary from an historian would have been nice but don't let the lack of extras put you off. It's a must buy and a joy to see the continuing trend for restored old classic films.
An incredibly young Richard Attenborough brilliantly portrays the vicious Pinkie Brown juvenile leader of a Brighton race track gang in the 1930s, gangs that existed in real life enforcing protection racket payments with cut throat razors.
The gang members are well cast, William Hartnell as Pinkie's friend Dallow and Nigel Stock young and slim, very different from our usual perception of him. Hermione Baddeley is brilliant as the coarse seaside concert party entertainer who becomes obsessed with proving Pinkie guilty of murder.
The harrowing end of Graham Greene's novel has been altered to provide a soft landing for the waitress (Carol Marsh) that Pinkie so callously marries to prevent her testifying against him.
This is a very fine film indeed.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
As expected. Bought as a gift for 74yr old. Brought back memories for them. Great packaging and qualityPublished 1 month ago by Miss S A Finn
Brighton Rock is a seminal film from 1947 featuring Richard Attenborough's legendary performance as the criminal Pinkie. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Malarchy
A classic, tight, well acted film. This is proof of Richard Attenboroughs great acting skills.Published 2 months ago by lcw
One of THE great post war British movies and Attenborough's finest moment,the all the cast are pitch perfect especially William Hartnel l(the first Doctor Who) and Hermione... Read morePublished 4 months ago by jackie jayes