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The Detective (1954)

Father Brown (original title)
Approved | | Comedy, Crime, Drama | 1 November 1954 (USA)
Works of art are disappearing, stolen by a master thief, a master of disguise. Father Brown has two goals: to catch the thief and to save his soul.

Director:

Robert Hamer

Writers:

G.K. Chesterton (stories), Thelma Schnee (adaptation) | 3 more credits »
Reviews
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Alec Guinness ... Father Brown
Joan Greenwood ... Lady Warren
Peter Finch ... Flambeau
Cecil Parker ... The Bishop
Bernard Lee ... Inspector Valentine
Sidney James ... Parkinson
Gérard Oury ... Inspector Dubois (as Gerard Oury)
Ernest Clark ... Bishop's Secretary
Aubrey Woods Aubrey Woods ... Charlie
John Salew John Salew ... Station Sergeant
Sam Kydd ... Scotland Yard Sergeant
John Horsley ... Inspector Wilkins
Jack McNaughton Jack McNaughton ... Railway Guard
Hugh Dempster Hugh Dempster ... Man in Bowler Hat
Eugene Deckers ... French Cavalry Officer
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Storyline

Amateur detective Father Ignatius Brown defies his Bishop and decides to transport to Rome a holy relic from his church, a cross that once belonged to St. Augustin, rather than allow the more elaborate plans to proceed. On the channel crossing, he becomes suspicious of a fellow traveller, a Mr. Dobson, who Brown quickly determines is not the automobile salesman he claims to be. He does befriend another priest who he takes into his confidence, but soon realizes that his suspicions should have been reversed. The fake priest is in fact Gustave Flambeau, a professional art thief and an expert at disguise. After he gets away with the cross, Brown refuses to work with the police, insisting that he wants to save the man's soul, not put him in prison. With the assistance of his friend Lady Warren, Father Brown sets a trap for Flambeau, but Brown realizes that his work is only just beginning. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

An open and shut case of Guinness! Up to his EARS in chaos...Up to his NECK in laughs See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Crime | Drama | Mystery

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

1 November 1954 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Detective See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The parable about the woman and the onion Fr. Brown relates to Flambeau is from "The Brothers Karamazov" by Fyodor Dosteovsky (1821-1881). See more »

Goofs

In the stained-glass window behind the (catholic) bishop, there is a portrait of Henry VIII (second from left). Given that Henry was the first king to oppose the pope and separate the Church of England from the catholic church, his face would never be tolerated in this place. See more »

Quotes

Lady Warren: [referring to the cross of St. Augustine] It's very beautiful. Is it valuable?
Father Brown: No, not valuable. Priceless.
See more »

Connections

Version of Pater Brown (1966) See more »

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User Reviews

 
An Underrated Guinness Gem
14 January 2003 | by PolitiComSee all my reviews

This is another of the often ignored 'small' Guinness films from the early and mid-50's that rarely get the attention they deserve. While it had a brief revival last fall at Britain's National Film Theatre, it doesn't seem to show up that often in Guinness retrospectives.

A number of elements in this gently comic film that are worthy of notice: Sir AlecÕs performance is deft, subtle and delightfully wry whether he is playing the sleuth or spouting philosophy to the villain Flambeau.

An added treat is a cast that includes Peter Finch, who won an Oscar for Network, Joan Greenwood, who was Lady Balleston in Tom Jones and Bernard Lee who portrayed M in the James Bond series. Guinness, Greenwood and Cecil Parker (The Bishop) also appeared together in the Ealing Studio comedy, The Man in the White Suit.

Another interesting aspect is that a large part of the film was shot on location in Paris and rural France, apparently a rarity for the British films of that era.

Finally a bit of trivia: After his portrayal of Father Brown, Guinness converted to Catholicism


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