Brighton Rock | Chicago Reader

Brighton Rock

Graham Greene's 1938 novel Brighton Rock shocked readers with its portrait of Pinkie Brown, an icy 17-year-old murderer prowling the carnival amusements of Brighton Beach. The character was still unnerving enough to make a star of young Richard Attenborough when the first screen version arrived in 1947. For this new feature, screenwriter Rowan Joffe (The American, 28 Weeks Later) has updated the action to 1964, for no other apparent reason except to exploit Brighton's more vivid pop-culture history as the stomping ground for rival gangs of mods and rockers. If you can tolerate the silliness of the teenage killer (Sam Riley) tooling around on a fancy motor scooter like something out of Quadrophenia (1979), you may find this a serviceable adaptation, though be forewarned also that Ida Arnold, the 40-ish barfly trying to close the noose around Pinkie, is played by 65-year-old Helen Mirren. Joffe makes his directing debut; with John Hurt and Andrea Riseborough.



  • Rowan Joffe


  • Sam Riley
  • Andrea Riseborough
  • Helen Mirren
  • John Hurt
  • Phil Davis
  • Sean Harris
  • Andy Serkis
  • Geoff Bell
  • Steven Robertson
  • Nonso Anozie
  • Steve Evets
  • Maurice Roeves
  • Adrian Schiller


  • Paul Webster
  • Will Clarke
  • Jamie Laurenson
  • Jenny Borgars

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