michael gallucci

MOVIE REVIEW — BRIGHTON ROCK

In Uncategorized on 02/10/2010 at 4:57 am

Adapted from a Graham Greene novel, this 1947 British gangster film was quite a shocker in its day (Mutilated bodies! Gangland warfare! Double-crossing snitches!). It’s still a solid piece of filmmaking by director John Boulting, even if some of the onscreen violence seems a bit tame by modern standards. After rackets runner Pinkie Brown (Richard Attenborough) murders a rival, a boozy barfly (Hermione Baddeley) who was hanging out with the victim right before he was killed begins snooping around. Meanwhile, Pinkie tries to get his small-time gang some respect on the street and cozies up to a young, innocent waitress (a radiant Carol Marsh), who’s inadvertently connected to the crime. The script (co-written by Greene) is tough. So are the characters. Pinkie is ruthless, at one point tossing one of his cronies off a balcony. The film is also quite suspenseful, particularly during the long opening scene when thugs pursue an unfortunate victim through Brighton’s daylight streets and into a dark carnival funhouse. This brutal British noir is grittier than many of its contemporaries in the U.S, where it was originally known as Young Scarface. That title is earned. Brighton Rock’s lineage can be traced all the way to modern mob classics like The Godfather, Scarface and GoodFellas. –Michael Gallucci

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  1. […] Brighton Rock (1947, UK, Boulting) – A journalist runs into trouble with the Brighton Mafia, which is run by a sadistic 17-year old.  I think this is the earliest English gangster movie I’ve seen – and right from the start they make it their own.  It feels dirtier than the American counterparts.  Watched it all. […]

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