raw, brutal look at life on the crime
side on the south coast during the years
between the wars and based on a novel by
Graham Greene, the 1947 Boulting
Brothers Brighton Rock is a classic gangsterfilm
IN 1947, THE BOULTING BROTHERS turned Graham Greene's novel, Brighton
Rock, into a superb movie about gangsters in the seaside town during the
1930s. This classic film has now been digitally restored and for the first time
is out on Blu-ray and DVD.
Local Brighton gangster Pinkie Brown (Richard Attenborough: The Great Escape;
Jurassic Park; Elizabeth) inhabits the nether world of the backstreets of
Brighton a Brighton of dark alleyways and festering slums.
Ruthless and cold-blooded, Pinkie will protect his interests, and his own life,
in any way possible even if it means betraying his associates. Crime,
violence and gang warfare is Pinkie's way of life and he runs a protection racket
with Cubitt (Nigel Stock), Spicer (Wylie Watson) and Dallow (television's first
Dr Who, William Hartnell).
A rival gangster, William Kite, has been brutally murdered after it was suspected
that he'd given information to former newspaper reporter Fred Hale (Alan Wheatley),
who has just returned to Brighton and is working under the guise of Kolley Kibber
for a newspaper promotion.
But Fred isn't safe, because Pinkie is out to get him. A nervous Fred hooks
up with the flamboyant Palace Pier Pierrot Ida Arnold (the wonderful Hermione
Baddeley), who believes she can talk to the dead, but when he goes missing she
becomes suspicious of Pinkie.
When Fred's body is found a trail leads back to Snow's Café where waitress Rose
(Carol Marsh) has seen something that would implicate Spicer and, ultimately,
Pinkie. And Pinkie isn't about to let anything interfere with his way of life.
He has already turned against Brewer (Harry Ross), crossed swords with rival
gang leader Colleoni (Charles Goldner) and fallen out with crooked lawyer Prewett
He sets Spicer up and one might suppose that Rose is not long for this life;
but Pinkie marries her to ensure her silence something he will come to
regret. Said to be perhaps his most iconic onscreen role, Richard Attenborough
is magnificent as the callous Pinkie and Carol Marsh plays the naïve Rose sympathetically.
Some superb moments and dramatic acting inject life into this brilliant piece
of cinema history. Brighton Rock is a gripping film that keeps you hooked.
As the film races to the tense climax, the dark and brooding hoodlum finds events
escalating out of control with the tables turned against him in a fitting and
shocking way. The film has something of the style of Hitchcock about it and
is definitely one to include in any movie collection.
Made at Welwyn Studios, Brighton Rock was also filmed on location in
Brighton and around the Palace Pier; whereas the recently-released remake (2011)
was filmed on Eastbourne Pier as it is now more authentic for the period. Also
featuring: Campbell Capelin as The Police Inspector; Virginia Winter as Judy;
and George Carney as Phil Corkery.
Director of Photography is Harry Waxman; Art Director is John Howell; Music
is Composed and Conducted by Hans May; Screenplay is by Graham Greene and Terence
Rattigan; Associate Producer is Peter de Sarigny; produced by Roy Boulting and
Directed by John Boulting. Greene famously changed his own book's ending for
A welcome restoration and re-release of the classic 1947 Boulting Brothers adaptation
of Graham Greene's gritty British noir, memorably set in the streets and on
the pier of post-war Brighton, the digitally-restored** Brighton Rock
is released on DVD and Blu-ray on 28 February 2011.
Maggie Woods, MotorBar
"Brighton Rock is a gripping film that keeps you hooked"
Maggie Woods, MotorBar
DVD Technical Specifications:
Region 2 | Total Running Time: 89 Minutes Approximately | B&W PAL | Feature
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1 | English Language | Mono | Catalogue Number: OPTD2087
| RRP: £15.99.
Blu-Ray Technical specifications:
Region B | Total Running Time: 93 Minutes Approximately | B&W PAL | Feature
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1 | Video: BD50 / AVC / 24p | Feature Audio: Mono / Audio
Codec: LPCM | English Language | Catalogue Number: OPTB2086 | RRP: £19.99.
DVD & Blu ray extras:
Interview with Rowan Joffe | 1954 NFT Interview with Richard Attenborough and
John Boulting | HOH Subtitles.
** Digitally Restored title: While every effort has been made to secure the
best source material, imperfections commensurate with the age of materials may
be evident, despite full digital restoration.