April 24, 2014

Films

Father Brown – 1954 | 91 mins | Comedy, Crime | B&W

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Plot Synopsis

Father Brown

Entertaining and polished comic mystery based on the eponymous amateur sleuth created by novelist G.K. Chesterton. The loose adaptation of Chesterton’s first short story The Blue Cross updates the story to a contemporary setting and is as concerned with the religious implications of the crime as with the sleuthing methods and reunites Kind Hearts and Coronets director Robert Hamer with the film’s multi-role star Alec Guinness. Guinness is flawless in the lead role and balances the comedy and suspense to perfection. The supporting cast includes a suave Peter Finch as a most worthy adversary, Joan Greenwood as the husky widow Lady Warren, Sid James as one of Father Brown’s reformed flock, Ernest Thesiger as a memorably doddering librarian and Cecil Parker as the exacerbated Bishop.

Eccentric Father Brown (Alec Guinness) is a full-time priest and part-time sleuth who devotes his time to straightening out some of his more wayward parishioners. When the Bishop (Cecil Parker) entrusts Father Brown with transporting St Augustine’s Cross to Rome it is done so on the condition Scotland Yard Inspector Valentine (Bernard Lee) is allowed to protect the valuable religious artefact from the grasping hands of notorious international thief Flambeau (Peter Finch) on the journey from London to Rome. Father Brown is understandably upset when Flambeau reveals himself in Paris and steals the cross from him. Brown finds himself on a dual-purpose mission: to recover the stolen goods and to compel the thief to repent his sins. To do so he persuades Lady Warren (Joan Greenwood) to put a priceless chess set up for auction as bait with which to ensnare Flambeau.

Production Team

Robert Hamer: Director
Harry Waxman: Cinematography
Julia Squire: Costume Design
Gordon Hales: Film Editing
Pauline Trent: Makeup Department
Bob Lawrance: Makeup Department
Georges Auric: Original Music
Paul Finder Moss: Producer
John Hawkesworth: Production Design
Robert Hamer: Script
Maurice Rapf: Script
Thelma Schnee: Script
Leonard Bulkley: Sound Department
George Burgess: Sound Department

Cast

Alec Guinness: Father Brown
Joan Greenwood: Lady Warren
Peter Finch: Flambeau
Bernard Lee: Inspector Valentine
Sid James: Parkinson
Ernest Clark: Bishop\’s Secretary
Aubrey Woods: Charlie
John Salew: Station sergeant
Sam Kydd: Scotland Yard sergeant
Austin Trevor: Herald
Ernest Thesiger: Vicomte
Gerard Oury: Inspector Dubois



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