Rowan Joffe: Brighton Rock

Brighton Revisited

Jake Wilson

 

Directed by John Boulting in 1947, the original film version of Graham Greene’s thriller Brighton Rock is as honourable an adaptation as anyone could want. The plot may be simplified, but the essentials are all there (Greene himself co-wrote the script), and so is the cheery, grimy atmosphere of a mid-century British seaside resort, captured on location. There are two unforgettable performances, by Richard Attenborough as ‘Pinkie’, the psychopathic teenage gangster with a strangely pure belief in the reality of hell; and by Hermione Baddeley as Ida Arnold, the tart-with-a-heart who vows to bring Pinkie to justice.

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Published in April 2011 no. 330
Jake Wilson

Jake Wilson

Jake Wilson is a freelance writer who lives in Melbourne and reviews films regularly for The Age. Formerly the Melbourne correspondent for Urban Cinefile and a co-editor of Senses of Cinema, he has contributed to a range of print and online publications, including Kill Your Darlings, RealTime, Bright Lights Film Journal, and Meanjin. Some of his film writings are archived on his personal website.

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