The Book & the Movie: Brighton Rock | Graham Greene, 1938 / John Boulting, 1947


Brighton Rock | Graham Greene, 1938 / John Boulting, 1947

“A man always has a different name for strangers.”

“A brain was only capable of what it could conceive, and it couldn’t conceive what it had never experienced”

“She had an immense store of trivial memories and when she wasn’t living in the future she was living in the past. As for the present—she got through that as quickly as she could, running away from things, running towards things, so that her voice was always a little breathless, her heart pounding at an escape or an expectation.”

“She got up and he saw the skin of her thigh for a moment above the artificial silk, and a prick of sexual desire disturbed him like a sickness. That was what happened to a man in the end: the stuffy room, the wakeful children, the Saturday night movements from the other bed. Was there no escape––anywhere––for anyone? It was worth murdering a world.”

“The imagination hadn’t awoken. That was his strength. He couldn’t see through other people’s eyes, or feel with their nerves. Only the music made him uneasy.”

“You’re young. That’s what it is,” Ida said, “romantic. I was like you once. You’ll grow out of it. All you need is a bit of experience.” The Nelson Place eyes stared back at her without understanding. Driven to her hole the small animal peered out at the bright and breezy world; in the hole were murder, copulation, extreme poverty, fidelity and the love and fear of God, but the small animal had not the knowledge to deny that only in the glare and open world outside was something which people called experience.”

Graham Greene, Brighton Rock, 1938

“People talk,” Ida Arnold said. “People talk all the time.”
“It’s a good world if you don’t weaken.” 
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“Life was a series of complicated tactical exercises …”
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“She was good, he’d discovered that, and he was damned: they were made for each other.”

 Graham Greene, Brighton Rock, 1938

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“He knew everything in theory, nothing in practice…
He knew the moves, he’d never played the game.”

 Graham Greene, Brighton Rock, 1938

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“He put his mouth on her and kissed her on the cheek; he was
afraid of the mouth-thoughts travel too easily from lip to lip.”

 Graham Greene, Brighton Rock, 1938

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Brighton Rock (1947)
Director: John Boulting
Stars: Richard Attenborough, Hermione Baddeley, William Hartnell
Cinematography: Harry Waxman

* Graham Greene wrote Richard Attenborough a letter after seeing the film, praising his performance as Pinkie. Attenborough kept the letter for the rest of his life.

* Filming actually took place in Brighton using hidden cameras in amongst the real-life crowds. This was mainly because the Brighton authorities objected to the way their town was being depicted as a haven for gangsters.

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Richard Attenborough as the gangster Pinkie in Brighton Rock, 1947

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