The Bell Ringers in Brighton Rock (film still from Brighton Rock)

Brighton Rock (1947)

In Brighton Rock, just before gangster Pinkie Brown goes to record his charming gramophone message for new wife Rose, we see Rose operating a slot machine.

The machine, apparently (and logically) called ‘The Bell Ringers’, was operated by dropping in an old English penny, and played a short mechanical performance of figures in a church ringing bells.

‘The Bell Ringers’ was designed by German Charles Ahrens, a well-known name in the world of penny arcades. His model ‘The Executioner’ turned up in The Wench is Dead, an episode of Inspector Morse.

These moving models are now highly collectable, and there are several museums that specialise in them. National Jukebox have restored a broken-down Bell Ringers, and there’s a short video of it in action below.

One Response to “The Bell Ringers in Brighton Rock”

  1. The Executioner in Inspector Morse: The Wench is Dead

    […] on from the appearance of ‘The Bell Ringers‘, here’s another of Charles Ahrens’s coin-operated […]

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