MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 2,312 this week

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

 -  Comedy | Crime | Drama  -  1 November 1954 (USA)
6.9
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.9/10 from 663 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.

Director:

Writers:

(stories), (adaptation), 3 more credits »
0Check in
0Share...

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 25 titles
created 18 Jun 2011
 
a list of 1166 titles
created 02 Feb 2012
 
a list of 22 titles
created 09 Jun 2012
 
a list of 20 titles
created 08 Apr 2013
 
a list of 35 titles
created 10 months ago
 

Related Items

Search for "The Detective" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: The Detective (1954)

The Detective (1954) on IMDb 6.9/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Detective.

User Polls

1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

A middle-aged widower (Guinness) and his son go to Paris on vacation and try to find wives for each other in this charming romantic comedy. In HD.

Director: Robert Hamer
Stars: Alec Guinness, Odile Versois, Vernon Gray
The Promoter (1952)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A charming and ambitious young man finds many ways to raise himself through the ranks in business and social standing- some honest, some not quite so. If he can just manage to avoid a ... See full summary »

Director: Ronald Neame
Stars: Alec Guinness, Glynis Johns, Valerie Hobson
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

When Miss Marple reports witnessing a murder through the window of a passing train, the police dismiss her as a dotty spinster when no trace of the crime can be found.

Director: George Pollock
Stars: Margaret Rutherford, Arthur Kennedy, Muriel Pavlow
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Brothers from a Welsh village take their first trip to London to collect a prize, and meet a con artist and sundry other urban distractions.

Director: Charles Frend
Stars: Donald Houston, Meredith Edwards, Moira Lister
Last Holiday (1950)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

When a lonely, unappreciated farm equipment salesman discovers he has only weeks to live, he withdraws his savings for a final holiday at a 'posh' resort.

Director: Henry Cass
Stars: Alec Guinness, Beatrice Campbell, Kay Walsh
All at Sea (1957)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A seasick sea captain commands an amusement pier despite local opposition.

Director: Charles Frend
Stars: Alec Guinness, Irene Browne, Maurice Denham
Comedy | Sci-Fi | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

An altruistic chemist invents a fabric that resists wear and stain as boon to humanity but both capital and labor realize it must be suppressed for economic reasons.

Director: Alexander Mackendrick
Stars: Alec Guinness, Joan Greenwood, Cecil Parker
Father Brown (TV Series 2013)
Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Series inspired by the stories of GK Chesterton; a Catholic priest has a knack for solving mysteries in his English village.

Stars: Mark Williams, Sorcha Cusack, Nancy Carroll
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A somewhat vulgar but dedicated painter searches for the perfect realization of his artistic vision, much to the chagrin of others.

Director: Ronald Neame
Stars: Alec Guinness, Kay Walsh, Renee Houston
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

In a small Finnish Lapland community, Milka, an innocent 14-year-old girl lives with her mother, misses her dead father and prays God to show her what love is. For haymaking, they employ a ... See full summary »

Director: Rauni Mollberg
Stars: Irma Huntus, Leena Suomu, Matti Turunen
The Mudlark (1950)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

In 1875 London, young Wheeler (who lives by scavenging) finds a cameo of Queen Victoria which he thinks so beautiful he risks his life to save it. Possessed of a desire to see the Queen, he... See full summary »

Director: Jean Negulesco
Stars: Irene Dunne, Alec Guinness, Andrew Ray
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 2.7/10 X  
Director: Hannu Seikkula
Stars: Esko Salminen, Anu Hälvä, Tapio Hämäläinen
Edit

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
Edit

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:

 »
Edit

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  »
Edit

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

Father Brown: A simple but effective ruse, taught me by one of the lambs in my flock.
Flambeau: A strange flock.
Father Brown: Oh, not strange, just human. Albert was a dear fellow. Where do you think he is now?
Flambeau: In prison.
Father Brown: In a monastery. Life is full of surprises, isn't it?
Flambeau: One never dreams how full.
See more »

Connections

Version of Pater Brown (1966) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Mr. C. - Champion of Paradox
21 February 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Gilbert Keith Chesterton has never been ignored or forgotten since his death in 1936. Yet his contemporary, Rudyard Kipling, was as controversial as he was and is better remembered and read to this day. I am not sure if the reason is that Chesterton's twin attractions, his love of paradox (almost to a questionable mania) and his vigorous championing of Catholicism are the reasons for this. He is, in the latter aspect, a strong predecessor of Evelyn Waugh and Graham Greene, but both of those writers seem to have more of a readership today. But then they didn't adopt paradox.

In his novel "Manalive" there is a moment when the appeal of his paradox reaches a point that is both understandable and questionable. The hero explains that the phrase "All that glitters is not gold" is false - all that glitters is gold. He starts pontificating on how many rarer elements (platinum?) exist that don't glitter as much, so that it is the attraction of the glitter of gold that makes it matter. One reads this discussion hoping that Chesterton is pulling our leg (a hope I still have, but it is very faint). The point of the phrase is that there are more valuable things in the universe than wealth producing items like gold - things like kindness, generosity, love. If Mr. C. was fooling us, I congratulate him on the still hit-on-the-head blow of the paradox. But if he meant it I really pity him.

I leave it to his fans to explain it to me (if they wish). "The Detective" is one of the few movies based on Chesterton's huge output. It is based on the first story of his tales of the Roman Catholic priest and detective, Father Brown: "The Blue Cross". The story is a good one (the first of the first series of "Father Brown" tales), and introduces us to Flambeau, the master thief that Brown eventually saves. But for it to be done properly (not the way the movie quite does it) several of the stories have to be put together. The first three stories of the series deal with Brown, Flambeau, and the head of the Paris police. The last commits a murder in the second story, and commits suicide before Brown exposes him. So much for a guardian of the law. Flambeau is stopped by Brown reasoning with him that he is not a bad man but a man who is on the verge of becoming one if he lets an innocent man take the blame for a theft he committed. Flambeau does repent, and subsequently becomes a detective (and an assistant to Brown).

This is a film which could have been reduced in length. Parts of the movie are quite amusing (the scene of Ernst Theisinger and Guiness breaking each other's eyeglasses is cute). The acting is also good (especially Guiness and Peter Finch as Flambeau). But the moments that move the viewer (and approach Chesterton's Catholicism) are when Guiness gives parables to explain behavior and human weakness. Witness his tale of the bad woman who fails to get pulled out of hell.

I wish the film was not so dull in so many spots, but it is definitely worth a look.


15 of 16 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Father Brown coming to UK DVD in Feb 2009 mr-dan-hunter
Watch for the Change! mtworkowski
Discuss The Detective (1954) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?