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

 -  Comedy | Crime | Drama  -  1 November 1954 (USA)
6.9
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 648 users  
Reviews: 14 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.

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

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Cast

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 ...
Charlie
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
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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 traveler, a Mr Dobson, whom Brown quickly determines is not the automobile salesman he claims to be. He does befriend another priest whom 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

Genres:

Comedy | Crime | Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

1 November 1954 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Detective  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

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

Parkinson: Father! You in trouble, Father?
Father Brown: I'm disappointed in you, Bert.
Parkinson: I'm sorry, Father, it was just...
Father Brown: Firstly, because you did wrong. Secondly, because you did wrong in the wrong way. Frankly, you are an incompetent thief.
Parkinson: Well, I wouldn't go that far.
Father Brown: I would. You are clearly incapable of earning a dishonest living. Why not experiment with an honest one?
See more »

Connections

Version of Pater Brown (1966) See more »

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User Reviews

Good Job of Filming a Creative & Interesting Story
8 September 2004 | by (Ohio) – See all my reviews

This enjoyable feature does a good job of filming a creative, interesting story using G.K. Chesterton's "Father Brown" character. Alec Guinness is a very good realization of Father Brown, and Peter Finch provides him with a worthy foil. The story uses a good variety of interesting settings, with numerous interesting turns in the plot, and some good moments from the supporting cast.

What makes it more intriguing than the average crime/mystery movie is that from the start Father Brown is more interested in reforming the criminal than in punishing him. It leads to a story that has some of the same elements as a conventional crime film, but it also adds a creative dimension that makes it so much more interesting than the dreary, excessive spectacles of the present time that drown out any substance with undue amounts of violence and crudity.

The story could, of course, have easily become implausible and/or annoyingly moralistic, but thanks to Guinness's usual fine performance, and good direction from Robert Hamer, that is not at all the case. While there's nothing flashy here, it's an interesting and enjoyable little feature, and a nice change of pace.


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