Young Dickie Attenborough made sure he wouldn't be typecast early on in his career by playing a hardcase bastard with total conviction in this 1947 thriller. Ruthless, violent, baby-faced gangster Pinkie Brown is a Brighton-based protection racketeer under pressure. The neighbouring crime family is weighing in on his patch, and the woman who can prove he killed a rival is threatening to grass him up to "the bogeys".
But even as he marries her to keep her quiet, his gang are starting to turn against him. Attenborough is outstanding in the lead, and Graham Greene and Terence Rattigan's script, adapted from Greene's novel, stands up well even in these post-Lock, Stock... times. Plus, Harry Waxman's cinematography remains beautiful.