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The Detective (1954) Poster

(1954)

Quotes

Station sergeant: Your name?

Father Brown: Brown.

Station sergeant: You sure it isn't Smith, or Jones?

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[the contents of Father Brown's pockets are being inventoried by the police]

Patrolman: One Bible.

Father Brown: [Correcting the patrolman] One breviary.

Station sergeant: One... book.

Patrolman: One bar of milk chocolate.

Station sergeant: One bar... of chocolate. Your glasses, please.

Father Brown: Oh. Is that really necessary? I'm as blind as a bat without them. Though I often wonder whether all bats are really blind, any more than all lords drunk or all judges sober.

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Father Brown: I've never been in a cell before. Except a monastery cell, of course.

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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?

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Father Brown: Perhaps you think a crime horrible because you cannot imagine yourselves committing it. That isn't true, you know. What really horrifies you is the secret and shameful knowledge that you are capable of committing it. We all are, I no less than you. We were not made good people or bad people. We were made people.

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Lady Warren: [referring to the cross of St. Augustine] It's very beautiful. Is it valuable?

Father Brown: No, not valuable. Priceless.

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Father Brown: Where would a wise man hide a leaf? In a forest. Where would a wise man hide a cross? In a forest of crosses. We have a forest of crosses ready-made for us. A forest of priests; a black forest, you might say.

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Father Brown: My lord, this is lunacy.

The Bishop: Father Brown, you will be good enough to leave matters in the lunatic hands of the inspector and myself. Scotland Yard will continue to inform you of our further insane decisions. Meanwhile, good morning.

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French Widow: [referring to smoking] Disgusting habit!

French Cavalry Officer: But a very useful one sometimes. A friend of mine, Captain Chavasse of the Foreign Legion, leg half shot off. No anesthetic. Smoked a pipe all through the operation. Never felt a thing.

Inspector Valentine: Good lord. What was he smoking?

French Cavalry Officer: Opium.

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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.

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Inspector Valentine: [after failing to commandeer a taxi with a couple kissing in the back] Don't the police in France come before a pair of lovers?

Inspector Dubois: In Paris, on a warm afternoon? I'm afraid not.

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Lady Warren: What progress have you made?

Father Brown: Looking for a black cat in a coal hole during an eclipse of the sun would be a child's task compared with mine.

Lady Warren: You put me in mind of the child's poem: "As I was walking up the stair, I met a man who wasn't there. He wasn't there again today. I wish that he would go away."

Father Brown: I wish that he would come to stay.

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Inspector Valentine: You'd've made things much easier for us both if you'd told us what you know of Flambeau.

Father Brown: I cannot tell you what I do not know. All I know is that he walks upon two legs and his head grows above his shoulders.

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Texan Millionaire: [the Texan approaches Father Brown and Lady Warren as they attempt to spot Flambeau among the bidders] Lady Warren? I am Sam Johnson out of San Antonio, Texas. If isn't often we from Texas get a chance to shake a real, live lady by the hand now!

Lady Warren: It isn't often that we in London have the privilege of of meeting a real, live Texan.

Texan Millionaire: You sure talk like a lady. You know, I've come five thousand miles to buy this set of yours. It'll go well down on my ranch.

Lady Warren: Will it really?

Texan Millionaire: Yeah ma'am. I've got myself a real swell games room. Solid gold poker chips, solid gold checkers, and a solid gold ping pong table.

Lady Warren: With solid gold ping pong balls?

Texan Millionaire: No ma'am. They wouldn't bounce. Well, better get set to rope this steer.

[He goes to his seat]

Lady Warren: I feared for a moment he was going to take my hand back to Texas with him, even though it isn't made of gold.

Father Brown: I doubt if even Flambeau could have invented him.

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Auctioneer: Now, who will open the bidding for me at ten thousand pounds?

Texan Millionaire: Fifty thousand dollars.

Auctioneer: I am bid... seventeen thousand, eight hundred and fifty-seven pounds, two shillings and ten pence. I think it would be easier, sir, if we were to conduct the bidding in pounds sterling.

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Parkinson: Pardon, me lady, but the awful people are coming up the drive!

Lady Warren: What awful people? It is not my "at home" day.

Father Brown: I think he means the police.

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Inspector Valentine: [the inspector has just phoned in an all-points bulletin for a stolen milk truck] Your accomplices haven't got a chance. They'll be intercepted within half an hour.

Lady Warren: Half an hour? Then you've time for a glass of sherry.

Inspector Valentine: No thank you.

Lady Warren: Or perhaps a glass of milk? The milkman seems to have left rather a lot today.

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Father Brown: My son...

Flambeau: Please do not call me your son.

Father Brown: My son, you think that you are a man of the world and that I am not. But I assure you, my "innocent" ears encounter every day stories of a horror that would make your sophisticated hair stand on end. Although I wear funny clothes, and have taken certain vows, I live far more in the world than you do.

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Flambeau: What are you really after, your cross or my soul?

Father Brown: Both, of course.

Flambeau: Well, come and find us. I'll make you a bargain: whatever you can find you shall have.

Father Brown: I accept your bargain.

Flambeau: It would have been an interesting encounter. Pity it will never take place.

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Father Brown: Excuse me. Do you speak English?

Painter: Sure.

Father Brown: Have you noticed the river has started flowing backwards?

Painter: If you hadn't told me I never would have noticed.

Father Brown: And that the sun is moving from west to east. And that those trees, instead of growing, are shrinking down into the ground. All of which suggests to me that the course of history has started to unwind, and that we are approaching the end of the world.

Painter: In that case, I'd better be going. Thanks for the tip.

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Inspector Valentine: Well?

Inspector Dubois: He is going to the wine harvest, and the grape waits for no man.

Inspector Valentine: Nor does Father Brown.

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

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Father Brown: Appalling.

Flambeau: An odd word to apply to the finest private collection in the world.

Father Brown: What is appalling is that it is private.

Flambeau: You are the first person to have the privilege of seeing it. Look at my El Greco.

Father Brown: Yours?

Flambeau: Mine.

Father Brown: This, I believe, is yours.

[He hands Flambeau his cigarette case]

Flambeau: Oh. So that's how you traced me. Thank you. I wondered where I'd lost it.

Father Brown: You didn't lose it. I stole it.

Flambeau: We have something in common then.

Father Brown: All men do.

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Flambeau: The police have an unfortunate habit of interrupting our conversations just when they begin to be interesting. I must beg your leave to leave you.

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[Flambeau, while looking at "his" El Greco, overhears two young boys seeing it for the first time]

First French Boy: C'est joli, n'est-ce pas?

[It's pretty, isn't it?]

Second French Boy: Oui, c'est tres beau.

[Yes, it's very beautiful]

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Father Brown: The only visible door leads to nowhere. There must be an invisible door leading somewhere.

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Inspector Valentine: You should have been a salesman father!

Father Brown: In a way, I am.

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Father Brown: It seems Mr Dobson, like the poor, is always with us.

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Flambeau: When I was a child I was as stuffed with religion as a Strasborg goose with grain. I have no appetite left.

Father Brown: When you were a child you understood as a child, you thought as a child. But now you have become a man and have not put away childish things.

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Father Brown: I gambled the cross for the soul of Flambeau. I like to think St Augustine would agree with me.

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Flambeau: The acts we do for no evident reasons are sometimes the most rational.

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Father Brown: We have something in common. All men do. That was the secret of the confessional you know. The more you learn about people, the more you learn about yourself. The more you learn about yourself, the more you know about other people.

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Flambeau: I've paid for my collection. Not in the currency of shop keepers but in the currency of fear.

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See also

Trivia | Goofs | Crazy Credits | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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