Friday, January 8, 2010

I remember it not so well

Sometimes, there are movies that I don't realize I've seen before, only to find out 10 minutes in that this looks strangely familiar. I've already posted about my experiences with a movie like Evelyn Prentice. Then there are the movies that are remakes, and it takes a few frames (Twist Around the Clock vs. Rock Around the Clock) to realize that I'm watching a version of a movie I've already seen, or maybe a good 10 minutes again (One Fatal Hour vs. Five Star Final). Then, there are the movies that I know I've seen before, but because it's been quite some time, the plot details get a bit hazy. Such is the case with Brighton Rock, which TCM is showing tomorrow morning at 8:00 AM ET.

Richard Attenborough stars as Pinkie, a small-time hoodlum leading a protection racket in the British seaside resort of Brighton. He's a fairly vicious and cynical thug, but his gang is getting squeezed by a bigger and more powerful gang. There's also a journalist covering Brighton who suspects Pinkie of not being a good guy. The combination results in murder. Along the way, Pinkie, an inveterate cynic and user, meets and seemingly falls in love with Rose, a good Catholic girl, and marries her mostly so that she can't testify against him should he ever be brought to trial. The twist is that, at the seaside carnival, Pinkie made one of those old "record your voice" things popular in the days before tape recorders, where you could have a record made of your singing or talking. On that record, Pinkie reveals his real motivation, content in the knowledge that he and Rose don't have a phonograph.

Unfortunately, Brighton Rock is one of those movies that I only have a foggy memory of, having seen it several years ago. (If my memory is correct, it was aired on TCM in the summer of 2007, which would have been when I saw it.) So, a lot of my plot synopsis is incomplete at best and slightly wrong at worst. Still, it's one of those British post-War movies that I generally enjoy, and do remember enjoying this one in particular. You'll have to catch the TCM showing, though, since it doesn't seem to be available on DVD in the US.

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