Book Archive

Brighton Rock by Steve Chibnall

I.B. Taurus' British Film Guides, now re-branded Turner Classic Movies British Film Guides, continue with a look at one of British cinema's best gangster films Brighton Rock.

British cinema has always excelled in adapting classic novels for the screen, but has rarely managed to transfer contemporary novels successfully – at least not those at the quality end of the market. Brighton Rock was a rare exception, and this film guide deals with its journey from the bookshelves to the picture houses via a stage adaptation.

It was quite a delicate journey with the Lord Chamberlain's office overseeing the stage play and the BBFC office overseeing the film, making sure the public weren't outraged by the mixture of violence, religion and sex on offer. The way in which the filmmakers picked their way through this minefield is clearly charted by Steve Chibnall. Somewhere along the line they handed the treatment over to Terence Rattigan (not exactly typecasting) who came up with the controversial ending before they let Graham Greene loose on the scripting.

This is a fascinating mixture of history and criticism and serves as a great template for other books on individual films.  

Brighton Rock

Pub: I. B. Taurus

ISBN: 1 85043 400 X

Price: 9.95 (UK) $14.95 (US) hardback

Brighton Rock: available at Amazon UK (currently 30% off)  

Brighton Rock: available at Amazon US