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Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Brighton Rock, British Film Noir from 1947

Arguably the greatest of the many fine adaptations of Graham Greene's literary thrillers, a chilly and unforgiving look into the life of a small-time Brighton thug, Pinkie Brown. Anchored by a seminal performance by a young Richard Attenborough.

The screenplay was written by Greene and Terence Rattigan for the 1947 film adaptation. The film is set in the 1930s, a period known for notorious race-track gangs. After the Gambling Act of 1845, gambling was only legal in England at the race tracks. The film is a dramatisation of this aspect of British criminal history, where gangs fought violently with straight razors in their competition to control the racecourses. Inter-war Brighton, a popular southern seaside resort is the location for the psychological thriller,a tale of murder and intrigue. The protagonist Pinkie, played by Attenborough, is a devilish character who is characterised with psychopathic tendencies.

 He is exceptionally cruel in his treatment of Rose whom he only marries to dissuade from providing the police with a witness statement regarding his heinous crimes. It seems that no act of cruelty or deception is beyond the hoodlum Pinkie, and Attenborough gives a chilling performance that secured his reputation as one of the most insightful and skilled British actors of his generation. Attenborough went on to have a career in film and theatre spanning many decades. His contributions to his craft gained him several honours, notably his CBE in 1967 and in 1993 when he was made a life-peer as Baron Attenborough. Henry Sotheran’s has on offer a complete set of eight original black-and-white British front-of-house cards for this outstanding example of British film noir. A fine set for any collector of classic cinema and British film history.

 Brighton Rock. Original set of  UK front-of-house cards for the film, 8 x 10 inches.
Associated British Picture Corporation, 1947. £998

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