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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 »
As Fred Hale (Alan Wheatley) makes his abortive run away from Pinkie's gang to the railway station in the centre of Brighton, when he sees his way blocked he turns and catches a number 40 bus leaving from the bus stand. The next shot shows the bus leaving - except that it's now a number 6. See more »
[while comforting Rose after Pinkie's death]
You or I cannot fathom the appalling strangeness of the mercy of God.
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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 »
Very strong thriller from the Boulting brothers with a cracking performance from Dickie Attenborough as the starey-eyed Pinkie, and William Hartnell looking young(ish) and spry as his friend, henchman and conscience Dallow. Lacking some of the book's depth and darkness, but staying surprisingly faithful to many important plot points, the pace is electric and the players all excellent. The sticky squalor and roughness of the town and the time are vividly realised, and Pinkie is about as bad as they come. One of the great British thrillers, and for those familiar with the book, check out the sweet, ingenious ending.
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