TV Cream

Films: D is for...

Detective, The

Alec Guinness’s incarnation of Father Brown, Chesterton’s ecclesiastical eavesdropper. Here the clerical copper’s on the trail of master art thief Peter Finch. It’s not merely a matter of nabbing the bloke, of course – the apostolic agent wishes to save his soul, which means he must stop Parisian police chief Bernard ‘M’ Lee getting to him first – a veritable Chestertonian paradox for the pastoral plainclothesman! It’s all genteel charm from cap to cassock of course, and a series of films based on GK’s further adventures of the God-fearing gumshoe would have been great, but in this incarnation it was not to be. Still, this’ll do to be going on with, and Joan Greenwood, Sam Kydd, Aubrey Woods and Sid James provide first-rate foils for the font-friendly flatfoot.

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