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The Detective (1954)
"Father Brown" (original title)

 -  Comedy | Crime | Drama  -  1 November 1954 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 612 users  
Reviews: 13 user | 3 critic

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.



(stories), (adaptation), 3 more credits »
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Title: The Detective (1954)

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Lady Warren
Cecil Parker ...
The Bishop
Sidney James ...
Bert Parkinson
Gérard Oury ...
Inspector Dubois
Ernest Clark ...
Bishop's Secretary
Aubrey Woods ...
John Salew ...
Station Sergeant
Sam Kydd ...
Scotland Yard Sergeant
John Horsley ...
Inspector Wilkins
Jack McNaughton ...
Railway Guard
Hugh Dempster ...
Train Passenger in Bowler
Eugene Deckers ...
French Cavalry Officer


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. Written by Cleo <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

detective | remake


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


Comedy | Crime | Drama


Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

1 November 1954 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Detective  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Alec Guinness was spotted in costume when walking home through the French countryside. A young boy ran up to him, yelling "Mon père! Mon père!" ("My father! My father!") Guinness did not speak French, so he could not correct the young boy's mistake, but was touched that the young boy apparently immediately bonded to him on the assumption that he was a priest. Soon after the film was released, Guinness converted to Catholicism. See more »


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 »


Father Brown: It's all so nonsensical, it must make sense.
See more »


Version of Father Brown (1974) See more »

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User Reviews

Underfilmed Sleuth

Of all the names in the pantheon of great literary detectives, G. K. Chesterton's Father Brown is easily the most overlooked. The character has appeared in only a handful of films and a 13 episode television series in the early seventies. Of the films, The Detective(US title) is the best. Alec Guinness plays the affable cleric with an insatiable appetite for puzzles very nicely. Guinness shows us the heart and dedication Father Brown has to his calling spiritually over any temporal considerations. He also shows us that Father Brown is a character with depth as he takes lessons in karate and truly learns what the lives of his less than well-off parishioners are like. The heart of this film is Gunness's subtle comedic performance as a man challenging himself to catch a thief named Flambeau in the act of stealing his own church's cross that belonged to St. Augustine. Father Brown wants to save the soul of this man as well as the cross. The cat and mouse game between the two is fun fluff, and is vastly entertaining as that rather than a true mystery. Flambeau is played by a very young Peter Finch with class and style.The film boasts a fine array of British character actors with the likes of Bernard Lee(M from James Bond fame), Cecil Parker(King Roderick from The Court Jester and more), Joan Greenwood(Kind Hearts and Coronets), and my personal favourite, Ernest Thesiger from The Bride of Frankenstein. Thesiger has little screen time yet is very amusing in his role. A nice little mystery once again showcasing the comedic talent of one of our century's best actors...Sir Alec Guinness.

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