Sunday, August 1, 2010

Revival: Brighton Rock

Restored Print of BRIGHTON ROCK

Saturday, July 31 at Noon
Monday, August 2 at 7 PM
Thursday, August 5 at 9PM.

1947 John Boulting. Richard Attenborough, Carol Marsh, Hermione Baddeley, William Hartnell. Based on the novel by Graham Greene. 86 m.

On a sunny Whitsun bank holiday at the slightly tacky seaside resort of Brighton (the title refers to a local hard candy), people are dancing to the bands on the pier, and the shooting galleries, souvenir stands, and tea rooms are packed with day-trippers. But “Kolly Kibber,” busy caching newspaper giveaway cards around town, keeps looking over his shoulder for Richard Attenborough’s mystical psycho “Pinkie,” razor-wielding teenage head of a racecourse gang (“one of the most vicious pieces of work to ever slink across a cinema screen” – Total Film), so ruthless that he’d actually (yecch!) marry na├»ve, underage waitress Carol Marsh just to tie up a crime’s loose end. But blowsy blonde Hermione Baddeley keeps asking all these questions. The Boulting Brothers’ (John alternated with identical twin Roy as director and producer) adaptation of Graham Greene’s serious thriller was scripted by the author himself, after he was dissatisfied with Terence Rattigan’s first, happily-ended draft. Breakthrough starring screen role for future Oscar-winning director (Gandhi) Attenborough, who had played the same role on stage four years earlier (see also: 10 Rillington Place) — plus dazzling location shooting, with crowds of seemingly unseeing holiday-goers in the background of chase scenes across major intersections; but also with the blackest of Noir treatments for this darkest of British Noirs (Film Forum)