Brighton Rock takes the US noir thriller formula and blends it with a strikingly bleak vision of an English seaside town in the 1930s.
John Boulting’s adaptation of Graham Greene’s classic novel stakes its claim as one of the darkest films ever to be made in England. The film may well stray from Greene’s novel, but this is one of the finest examples of British cinema ever to grace the screen.
As the evil yet painfully tortured villain, Richard Attenborough is fantastic, so tightly coiled that he looks as though he’s ready to jump off-screen at any moment. The complexity of his character is only deepened by Harry Waxman’s oppressive cinematography; full of uncomfortable close-ups, and ominous zooms which turns the sunny seaside town of Brighton, England, into one of the lower levels of hell.
Wonderful Cinema strongly recommends you do not ruin the impact the director meticulously planned for you by watching trailers or reading spoilers. For those of you who cannot resist, here’s a clip:
Title: Brighton Rock
Director: John Boulting
Year, Country, Language: 1947, England, English
Stars: Richard Attenborough, Hermione Baddeley, William Hartnell, Carol Marsh
Screenplay: Graham Greene
Cinematography: Harry Waxman
Editing: Peter Graham Scott
Score: Hans May