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Brighton Rock (1947)

Not Rated | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 12 December 1947 (UK)
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 »

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Writers:

(from the novel by), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
Prewitt
...
...
Virginia Winter ...
Judy
Reginald Purdell ...
Frank
...
Phil Corkery
Charles Goldner ...
Alan Wheatley ...
Carol Marsh ...
Lina Barrie ...
Molly
Joan Sterndale-Bennett ...
Delia
Harry Ross ...
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Storyline

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 measham

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Graham Greene's Shocking Thriller of the RAZOR GANGS! See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Film-Noir

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

12 December 1947 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Brighton Rock  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$32,774 (USA) (28 August 2011)

Gross:

$223,887 (USA) (30 October 2011)
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Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Pinkie Brown: [in a recording booth, making a disc for the doting, oblivious Rose] You asked me to make a record of me voice. Well, here it is. What you want me to say is 'I love you.' Here's the truth. I hate you, you little slut. You make me sick.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: 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 »

Connections

Referenced in An Adventure in Space and Time (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Hello Hello!
(uncredited)
Music by John Addison
Lyrics by Gerard Bryant
Sung by Hermione Baddeley and the promenade employees
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User Reviews

 
Charismatic Killer
6 January 2009 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

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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