British producers are competing with each other in rushing mobster yarns to the screen. This tends to prove that Britain can turn out a gangster picture as brutal as any Hollywood had devised.
British producers are competing with each other in rushing mobster yarns to the screen. This tends to prove that Britain can turn out a gangster picture as brutal as any Hollywood had devised.With Graham Greene and Terence Rattigan responsible for the screenplay [based on Greene’s own novel], something more exciting might reasonably have been expected. Some of blame goes to director John Boulting whose tempo is much too leisurely for this type of picture. Story is laid in pre-war seaside resort Brighton, where two razor-slashing race gangs are feuding. It is difficult to believe that any gang which included William Hartnell could be led by Richard Attenborough. Hartnell is so much more the gangster type than Attenborough that it is obvious that an exchange of parts would have made the film more credible. Acting honors are collared by that seasoned actress, Hermione Baddeley. She steals every scene in which she appears, making Ida, the concert artist, a sympathetic character. Carol Marsh (formerly Norma Simpson) plays the waitress and gangster’s wife with modesty.
Boulting Brothers. Director John Boulting; Producer Roy Boulting; Screenplay Graham Greene, Terence Rattigan; Camera Harry Waxman; Editor Peter Graham Scott; Music Hans May; Art Director John Howell
(B&W) Available on VHS. Extract of a review from 1948. Running time: 92 MIN.
Richard Attenborough Hermione Baddeley William Hartnell Carol Marsh Harcourt Williams Nigel Stock