Wednesday, December 1, 2010

1954 - THE DETECTIVE, clever, classy, entertainment

Alec Guinness is Father Brown a priest who is also an amateur detective, he matches wits with master thief Flambeau over the legendary Blue Cross. 

This is a very good comedy thriller, well written and directed by Robert Hamer.  The film is a battle of wits between the master thief and the parish priest.  It's pretty clear the Colombo TV series got a lot of their ideas from this film, borrowing the character of the childish priest who is a lot smarter than he seems.

Father Brown is a fascinating character, he is as interested in stopping Flambeau as he is saving his soul.   This film is a comedy thriller with a definite existentialist bend to it.  No one is really in danger and there is a complete lack of violence but not action.

The acting is very good, Peter Finch is the thief Flambeau who could probably be comfortable lecturing at a University, Bernard Lee, who was usually "M" in the James Bond films, actually plays his part with some humor.  Alec Guinness is a little to cute as Father Brown, but he is fun to watch.

91 minutes.

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