Brighton Rock (1948)

July 30th, 2023
Author: Meredith Taylor

Dir: John Boulting | Cast: Richard Attenborough, Hermione Baddeley, William Hartnell, Harcourt Williams

You know you’re in Greeneland when Harcourt Williams appears as a down-at-heel lawyer who quotes ‘Macbeth’.

Directing duo The Boultings were fast ascending in critical status when they turned their attention to Greene’s novel and their facility with locations is demonstrated from the outset by the first twenty minutes following Alan Whitely as the il-fated Kolley Kibber through the streets of Brighton.

Despite the disclaimer blaming the activities of Pinky and his gang on the thirties it perfectly captures the shabby feel of the postwar austerity era, complete with Nigel Stock in a zoot suit and a spivvy moustache.

The ending caused controversary at the time but it seemed me a pretty neat trick because although it concentrates on Carol Marsh’s rapturous smile somebody would have promptly (SLIGHT SPOILER COMING:) given that record player a good swift kick.

One final thought: was it just by coincidence that Pinky’s previous victim was called Fred Kite? @RichardChatten


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