Join (Free!) | Login  

     Popular! Books, Stories, Articles, Poetry
   Services MarketPlace (Free to post!)
Where Authors and Readers come together!


Featured Authors:  Will Clark, iCULLEN DORN, iMaria Daddino, iW. Craig Reed, iRoland Allnach, iMarty Young, iMargaret Hardisty, i

  Home > Mystery/Suspense > Articles Popular: Books, Stories, Articles, Poetry     

John Howard Reid

· Become a Fan
· Contact me
· Books
· Articles
· Poetry
· News
· Stories
· Blog
· 481 Titles
· 270 Reviews
· Save to My Library
· Share with Friends!
Member Since: Feb, 2008

John Howard Reid, click here to update your pages on AuthorsDen.

Featured Book
by Janet Caldwell

Stepping out of the darkness and embracing the light with poetry...  
BookAds by Silver
Gold and Platinum Members

Featured Book
Book 8: The Nublis Chronicles: Fortune's Hostage
by Kate Saundby

Book 8 of the Nublis Chronicles and the sequel to The Orion Property, Fortune's Hostage, tells the story of two hereditary enemies who are forcibly married to one another..  
BookAds by Silver
Gold and Platinum Members

   Recent articles by
John Howard Reid

214.93 Dollars. Is This a Record Price?
TITLES TO AVOID How to use Hollywood Classics Title Index
BAD TITLES 2 more outsiders
BAD TITLES: 3 To Avoid
RIGHT NAMES and titles for stories, poems and novels
Give YOURSELF an Edge!
Exactly the right title for your book, poem or story?
Find Right Titles for Books, Poems, Stories
Catchy Titles and Interesting Character Names
Rosalia de Castro: A BRIEF LIFE
Why do German movie fans love JHR's books?
Find exciting names & titles for poems & stories
           >> View all

Father Brown, Detective
By John Howard Reid   
Rated "G" by the Author.
Last edited: Monday, July 20, 2009
Posted: Monday, July 20, 2009

Share    Print   Save    Become a Fan

I must admit that not all the two hundred plus entries in "AMERICA'S BEST, BRITAIN'S FINEST: A SURVEY OF MIXED MOVIES" are long. Here is an EXTRACT from one of the shorter reviews. A "mixed movie" I define as a film that features players that appeal to both British and American audiences.


Father Brown, Detective

Alec Guinness (Father Brown), Joan Greenwood (Lady Warren), Peter Finch (Flambeau), Cecil Parker (Bishop), Bernard Lee (“Car Salesman”), Sid James (chauffeur), Gérard Oury (French inspector), Ernest Clark (secretary), Aubrey Woods (Charlie), John Salew (station sergeant), Sam Kydd (Scotland Yard file clerk), John Horsley (Inspector Wilkins), Jack McNaughton (railway guard), Hugh Dempster (man in bowler hat), Eugene Deckers (French officer on train), Betty Baskcomb (widow on train), Billy Shine (ticket-taker at station), Diana Van Proosdy (waitress), Dino Galvani (Italian professor), Lance Maraschal (Texan millionaire), Noel Howlett (auctioneer), Marne Maitland (Indian potentate), Austin Trevor (herald expert), Ernest Thesiger (herald expert in Paris), Hugo Schuster (optician), Guido Lorraine (cafe patron), Jim Gérald (French stationmaster), Daniel Clérice (garagiste), Everley Gregg (governess) and the singers and dancers of the Matisconia DeMâcon.

Director: ROBERT HAMER. Screenplay: Thelma Schnee, Maurice Rapf, Robert Hamer. Story: Thelma Schnee. Based on characters created by G.K. Chesterton. Music composed by Georges Auric, played by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Photography: Harry Waxman. Film editor: Gordon Hales. Production designer: John Hawkesworth. Costume designer: Julia Squire. Make-up: Bob Lawrance. Hair stylist: Pauline Trent. Production manager: Leigh Aman. Assistant director: Max Varnel. Sound recordists: L.B. Bulkeley, George Burgess. Camera operator: James Bawden. Set continuity: Phyllis Crocker. Music conducted by Muir Mathieson. RCA Sound Recording. Associate producer: Vivian Cox. Producer: Paul Finder Moss.

Copyright 1 September 1954 by Facet Productions Ltd, London. Released through Columbia Pictures. New York opening at the Fine Arts: 1 November 1954. U.S. release: March 1955. London trade show: June 1954. Australian release: 9 June 1956 (sic). Sydney opening at the Lyceum. 8,200 feet. 91 minutes. Cut to 86 minutes in the U.S.A.

U.S. release title: the DETECTIVE.

U.K. release title: FATHER BROWN.

SYNOPSIS: A master thief has his eyes on the priceless Cross of St Augustine carried by Father Brown on his way to Rome.

COMMENT: A delight. True, the screenplay isn’t quite as colorfully witty or chock-full of weird surprises as the original Chesterton pieces, (and the long arm of co-incidence in the storyline strains — but by no means shatters — credulity in one or two places), but the writers make some pretty ingenious stabs in the right directions. Moreover, the direction is so deft and pacey, there’s no time to ponder any trivial inconsistencies of plot or characterisation. Plus the movie has been produced on a class “A” budget, with lots of extras milling around in plenty of fascinating sets and real-life locations.

But, aside from the polished screenplay, astute direction, sprightly music score and appealing visuals, the movie excels in its acting department. Alec Guinness makes a fine Father Brown, every inch as likable — and accurate — as Chesterton’s creation, whilst Finch enjoys one of the best roles of his career as the masterful yet quirkily misanthropic thief, Flambeau. Supporting honors lie in the hat-tossing hands of such stalwart character players as Bernard Lee, Sid James, Ernest Thesiger, Cecil Parker, John Salew, and Gerard Oury.

Oddly, despite its credentials as one of the best British comedies of the year, plus box-office super-favorites Guinness and Finch in the leads, the movie was not successful in Australia. Perhaps the lack of a traditionally boring love interest swayed audiences to give the picture a miss. True, Joan Greenwood is co-starred, but her role is small and colorless.

OTHER VIEWS: Whilst the movie has not a great deal in common with Chesterton, does it really matter? On its own terms, the movie is mightily engaging. Not just for its performances, although these are no mean attractions. Guinness makes Brown so deliciously sly, full of almost mischievous humour, whilst Finch’s equally appealing portrait of the suave, melancholy Flambeau, Joan Greenwood’s charmingly mannered aristocratic parishioner, Sid James’ fluent reformed thief, Cecil Parker’s lordly bishop and Ernest Thesiger’s fumbling master of heraldry, add greatly to the overall merriment.

What makes Father Brown such an unalloyed delight is not just the story and the stars — appealingly attractive though they be — but Robert Hamer’s stylish direction which — as Penelope Houston points out in her Monthly Film Bulletin review — has such a wonderfully detached, highly civilised air, “the more welcome because, in the British cinema, it is so uncommon.”

But what more could you expect of the director of Pink String and Sealing Wax, It Always Rains on Sunday, Kind Hearts and Coronets, and The Long Memory?

— G.A.

Web Site: New Movie Books

Want to review or comment on this article?
Click here to login!

Need a FREE Reader Membership?
Click here for your Membership!

The Street Life Series: Is Rags or Riches? by Kevin Weeks

For those determined to succeed despite the odds, is it rags or riches?..  
Featured BookAds by Silver
Gold and Platinum Members

Drowning Rapunzel ebook by Annette Gisby

Murder. Obsession. Insanity...  
Featured BookAds by Silver
Gold and Platinum Members

Authors alphabetically: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Featured Authors | New to AuthorsDen? | Add AuthorsDen to your Site
Share AD with your friends | Need Help? | About us

Problem with this page?   Report it to AuthorsDen
AuthorsDen, Inc. All rights reserved.