Brighton Rock by John Boulting, (UK, 1947, 92 min.). Beneath the sparkling seaside town of Brighton lurks a criminal underworld where we find our antihero, Pinkie (played by a very young Richard Attenborough). Pinkie is a teenage hoodlum who has recently taken control of a racetrack racketeering gang. When an old enemy named Hale shows up in Brighton, Pinkie hunts him down and kills him – but a naïve waitress discovers a clue that could expose the murder. To keep her quiet, Pinkie strikes up a romance with the girl.
Greene’s 1938 novel Brighton Rock was intended to be a work of pulp fiction studded with carnival lights, painted tarts and gang violence. While the final product does retain this seamy aesthetic, the book grew into something deeper and more spiritual as Greene developed it. His choice to write the gangster Pinkie as a devout Catholic obsessed with salvation and damnation added an element of moral complexity that pulled the story in the direction of “high” literature, and in the end what was meant to be a cheap paperback became one of Greene’s great catholic novels. The film adaptation is a towering example of film noir.
Presented on 35mm film.