Brighton Rock – English Film of the Month

Graham Greene’s novel, Brighton Rock, was set in the interwar years of racecourse gangs in Brighton, but in Rowan Joffe’s adaptation it has been updated to the early 1960s, a world of running seaside battles between Mods and Rockers.

The characters are there: the terrifying teenage gangster, Pinkie, the hapless Rose and the unlikely heroine Ida Arnold.  Pinkie, the embodiment of evil, is in charge of a Brighton protection mob, and decides to challenge criminal grandee Colleoni.  This turf war is complicated by other problems Pinkie is having: he has murdered an enemy gangster, Hale, and through an awful quirk of fate a seaside photographer snapped Pinkie’s accomplice Spicer (Phil Davis) snarlingly menacing Hale as he was desperately attempting to cosy up to a waitress on her lunch-hour in the forlorn hope that this would deter his assailants.  It’s a love story, but dark and claustrophobic, as it’s a love story between a murderer and a witness.

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Learn English 2019