Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Brighton Rock at the Film Forum

Catch It While You Can!

The Film Forum's extensive journey through the alleyways and corridors of film noir continues with its current run of John Boulting's Brighton Rock (1947), which ends Thursday—so you can't say I didn't warn you! (Incidentally, I don't think it's on DVD in the US yet.)

Over the years, Bruce Goldstein's noir programming has emphasized fare from the United States and France, but this entry, based on a Graham Greene story (with a great use of Graham-a-phone), is another example of how the genre extended into the United Kingdom.

To be more specific: This is another example of how B-noir extended into the UK. Like the most fascinating instances of B-noir anywhere, Brighton Rock is uneven...but its high points are stunning and surprising. It's been more than sixty years since this movie came out, but some of the nastiness portrayed in this movie still stings today.

The source of the venom is Brighton Rock's sinister character Pinkie, a breakthrough role for Richard Attenborough. He's right up there with Richard Widmark, James Cagney, and Richard Conte in conveying an eerie and twisted yet charismatic character.

Another impressive aspect of Brighton Rock that seems to get less attention is its varied and subtle score, by Hans May.

Here's how it starts. You'll know Attenborough by his hands.

Source (4:44)

No comments: