Wednesday, 4 July 2012
Two sticks of Brighton Rock
The plot of both films is, of course, virtually identical - Pinkie Brown is a small-town hoodlum whose gang runs a protection racket based at Brighton race course. When Pinkie orders the murder of a newspaper man, Fred, the police believe it to be suicide. This doesn't convince Ida Arnold, who was with Fred just before he died, and she sets out to find the truth. She comes across naive waitress Rose, who can prove that Fred was murdered. In an attempt to keep Rose quiet Pinkie marries her, because of course a wife can't be made to testify against her husband. But with his gang beginning to doubt his ability, and his rivals taking over his business, Pinkie starts to become more desperate and violent.
The superbly cynical ending is the same in both movie versions, and it really is difficult to say that one is better than the other. Both have their strong points and the 2010 is far more noirish than the original, but the original features Richard Attenborough who will forever be Pinkie no matter how many other versions of the movie there turns out to be.
Best see them both then and read the classic book which served as their source material.