Rowan Joffe: Brighton Rock

Reviewed by
April 2011, no. 330

Rowan Joffe: Brighton Rock

Reviewed by
April 2011, no. 330

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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