Pinkie Brown is a small-town hoodlum whose gang runs a protection racket based at Brighton race course. When Pinkie orders the murder of a rival, Fred, the police believe it to be suicide. ... See full summary »
A police lt. is ordered to stop investigating deadly crime boss Mr. Brown, because he hasn't been able to get any hard evidence against him. He then goes after Brown's girlfriend who despises him, for information instead.
Pinkie Brown is a small-town hoodlum whose gang runs a protection racket based at Brighton race course. When Pinkie orders the murder of a rival, Fred, the police believe it to be suicide. This doesn't convince Ida Arnold, who was with Fred just before he died, and she sets out to find the truth. She comes across naive waitress Rose, who can prove that Fred was murdered. In an attempt to keep Rose quiet Pinkie marries her. But with his gang beginning to doubt his ability, and his rivals taking over his business, Pinkie starts to become more desperate and violent. Written by
Brighton Borough Council refused permission for use of the race course because of the damage association with gang crime would do to the town's image (see the on-screen disclaimer at the start of the film). See more »
When Ida and her friend observe Pinkie and Rose from the hotel lobby balcony, their voices are heard speaking to one another while their mouths are closed. See more »
[on the record he made earlier]
You wanted a recording of my voice, well here it is. What you want me to say is 'I love you'...
[the record - scratched when he tried to destroy it - suddenly jumps]
... I love you... I love you... I love you... I love you...
[Fin. Last lines]
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Opening credits: Brighton today is a large, jolly, friendly seaside town in Sussex, exactly one hour's journey from London. But in the years between the two wars, behind the Regency terraces and crowded beaches, there was another Brighton of dark alleyways and festering slums. From here the poison of crime and violence and gang warfare began to spread, until the challenge was taken up by the Police. This is a story of that other Brighton - now happily no more. See more »
If Richard Attenborough hadn't been careful in his choice of roles he might very well have been typecast as a stone cold killer the rest of his career. It was the same problem that Richard Widmark had after Kiss Of Death. In Brighton Rock, Attenborough is absolutely riveting and charismatic as gang leader Pinkie Brown.
In the British seaside resort town of Brighton, Attenborough and his cronies run a protection racket and are being muscled by another gang who wants to take over their territory. In America this would call for a public machine gun blasting, but in the United Kingdom they do things in a bit more subtle way. After a prolonged chase through Brighton, Attenborough nails one of the other gang members Alan Wheatley in a fun house tunnel ride where there's even question that Wheatley might have slipped and fallen on his own.
But there are questions and Hermione Baddely is raising them, having been with Wheatley before he died and knowing how scared he was. There's also a witness after the fact who could destroy his alibi, a young and very innocent waitress played by Carol Marsh.
The reason Brighton Rock works so well is the terrifying portrait of Attenborough as a killer. Attenborough has to be a charismatic figure or the older members of his group would not be looking to him as the leader. They fear him too, but eventually the fear takes over the sway he has on the group.
Carol Marsh is good in her part. She's such an innocent, a Trilby like creature who Attenborough works like a Svengali over and gets her actually to marry him, just so she can't give evidence against him in Wheatley's murder. But when a couple more deaths occur, Marsh is frightened, but still entranced with Attenborough.
The final climax on the Brighton pier is as terrifying as any noir film you might see in America at that time. It even eclipses Wheatley's demise earlier which is also a highlight. Brighton Rock holds very well after 62 years and compares very well with some of the best American noir films of the time.
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