Synopsis by Hal Erickson
This unsparing, brutal look at the British criminal underbelly stars Richard Attenborough as Pinkie Brown, a pock-marked gang leader. While leading his men in a racetrack robbery, Pinkie kills a man. He convinces pretty waitress Rose (Carol Marsh) to provide him with an alibi, promising to marry her in exchange. After the wedding, the sociopathic Pinkie conducts a slow and careful campaign to drive his young wife to suicide. A moody, well-acted film with a stunning performance by the 24-year-old Attenborough, Brighton Rock is notable for bringing a new vicious realism to British crime cinema. Adapted by Terrance Rattigan and Graham Greene, from Greene's novel, the screenplay is superlative. The grim realism and sordid subject matter of the film is striking, handled by twin filmmakers Roy and John Boulting, who use mood and dark, stark photography to convey an almost palpable sense of dread. The American distributor of Brighton Rock, smelling disaster with that ambivalent title, renamed the film Young Scarface, and while it was quite controversial in its day, the film can't quite recapture the impact it had upon its initial release.
criminal, marriage, robbery, alibi, murder, gangster, suicide