Cinema: The New Pictures, Nov. 15, 1954

The Detective (Facet; Columbia). The priest as the detective—symbolizing consecrated good against dedicated evil—appealed to G. K. Chesterton's keen sense of antithesis, and in the Father Brown stories he rammed the paradox, like an intellectual skeleton, through some otherwise flabby fiction. In this movie based on the stories, the intellectual skeleton is removed, and the film falls all of a sentimental heap.

The script puts Father Brown (Alec Guinness) up to his usual trick of bringing a criminal not to the judicial bar but to the communion rail. His prospective proselyte : a famous international crook called Flambeau (Peter Finch). The cunning...

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