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Brighton Rock

Brighton Rock

Rowan Joffe

  • Country: United Kingdom
  • Year: 2009
  • Language: English
  • Producer: Paul Webster
  • Executive Producer: Jamie Laurenson
  • Screenplay: Rowan Joffe
  • Runtime: 111
  • Programmes:

Based on Graham Greene's 1938 novel, we follow the odd relationship between a young thug on the rise in the British underground and a tea room waitress who witnesses a crime he has committed.

First Time FeatureCrime and Thriller United KingdomAdaptation

screening times

    • Monday September 13
    • 8:00:00 PM
    • Wednesday September 15
    • 3:00:00 PM
    • AMC 6

Note: indicates Premium Screening.

official description

Graham Greene’s chilling 1938 novel Brighton Rock provides the inspiration for Rowan Joffe’s smart, visually striking and immaculately acted debut feature. In 1947, the book was made into a renowned film of the same name with Richard Attenborough in the lead role, but has since remained untouched. Significantly, Joffe has altered the time period for his adaptation from the thirties to the early sixties, an era when working-class British gangsters and thugs like the Kray Twins rose to prominence.

Despite this transposition, the core of Greene’s tough, uncompromising fiction remains fully intact. It follows the young anti-hero Pinkie (Control’s Sam Riley, in a performance of intense cunning and charm) as he tries to make his mark on the vicious gangland scene in Brighton. Young, brash, ruthless and cold-hearted, Pinkie is a steely-eyed shark slithering through the underworld. When Rose (Andrea Riseborough), a young waitress, stumbles on evidence that links Pinkie and his gang to a revenge killing he has committed, Pinkie realizes he has to tie up loose ends. He carefully stalks his new prey in an attempt to discover how much Rose really knows and, ultimately, ensure she won’t talk. This love story between a murderer and a witness, a snarling bad boy and a naïve young waif, is a haunting exploration of familiar Greene themes: the nature of sin and the characteristics that constitute morality.

It is not long before Rose’s wise and world-weary boss, Ida (Helen Mirren), develops a funny feeling about the odd relationship between Rose and the disturbingly enigmatic Pinkie. As clashes between Mods and Rockers play out in the background, Pinkie finds he has to ward off Ida’s growing suspicions, while also keeping Rose in the dark about what is really going on. This delicate psychological dance is beautifully depicted by this stellar trio of British actors. Building the drama further is a stunning visual design that fully captures the dark and claustrophobic mood of Greene’s violent and sexually daring masterpiece.

Piers Handling

director bio

Rowan Joffe is a screenwriter and director whose writing credits include Last Resort (00) and 28 Weeks Later (07). He directed the televised features Secret Life (07), which he also wrote, and The Shooting of Thomas Hurndall (08), for which he won the BAFTA for best television director. Brighton Rock (10) is his first feature film.

full credits

Principal Cast: Sam Riley, Andrea Riseborough, Helen Mirren, John Hurt
Paul Webster
Executive Producer:
Jamie Laurenson
John Mathieson
Joe Walker
Martin Trevis
Martin Phipps
Production Designer:
James Merifield

Canadian Distributor:
 Alliance Film  
International Sales Agent:
Production Company:
Kudos Films
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