BRIGHTON ROCK (1947)
This classic Graham Greene story stars Richard Attenborough in perhaps his most iconic onscreen role as Pinkie: a small time hoodlum running a protection racket at a Brighton racecourse. Following the murder of a visiting journalist, Pinkie becomes involved with Rose (Carol Marsh) a caf waitress and potentially dangerous witness. Marrying her seems to ensure her silence, but events escalate and a trail of killings and double-crossings eventually lead to Pinky’s undoing and a thrilling and memorable climax. Also starring Hermoine Baddeley and William Hartnell, the film was produced and directed by the Boulting Brothers.
THE SHIP THAT DIED OF SHAME (1955) UK DVD Premiere
Attenborough plays George Hoskins, one of a trio of ex-Navy men who profit from the post-War poor economic climate in Britain by operating a low key smuggling ring bringing in innocuous items such as wine. When Hoskins falls in with the corrupt Major Fordyce however, he insists on stepping up their activities to include arms and counterfeit currency, a move that awakens the morals in other of the ship’s crew who decide to put a stop to the escalating criminal activity… Directed by Ealing stalwart Basil Dearden and also starring Bill Owen, Virginia McKenna and George Baker,
THE ANGRY SILENCE (1960)
Co-written by Bryan Forbes (The L-Shaped Room, The Raging Moon) The Angry Silence is a thought-provoking study of a man who stands up for what he believes in in direct opposition to the wishes and actions of his co-workers. When an unofficial strike is declared at a factory Tom Curtis (Attenborough), struggling to make ends meet and with another baby on the way, refuses to stop work. Despite thinly veiled threats of violence, Curtis refuses to give in, and after the first strike ends he is comprehensively outcast by all his co-workers. Soon a second strike looms and Curtis’ determination and moral stance is again put to the test, but are the stakes higher this time? Co-starring Pier Angeli and Bernard Lee, the film’s screenplay was nominated for an Oscar and won a BAFTA, as well as other prizes at the Berlin Film Festival that year.
THE MAN UPSTAIRS (1958) UK DVD Premiere
In a intriguing premise, Attenborough stars as the eponymous hero of the title, who wakes in the middle of the night, stricken by pain and unexplained mental anguish. He reaches out to his neighbours for help, but lapses in and out of reason and aggressive behaviour, so the police and mental health officers are called. A standoff ensues, in which the Police Inspector (Bernard Lee) leans heavily toward a violent solution whilst the neighbours, headed by young mother Mrs Barnes (Dorothy Alison) and the Man’s girlfriend (Virginia Maskell) strive for a peaceful approach. A British version of the French classic Le Jour Se Leve.
Also includes: DUNKIRK (1958), PRIVATE'S PROGRESS (1956), BROTHERS IN LAW (1957).
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