Father Brown, Detective

Father Brown, Detective is a 1934 American mystery film directed by Edward Sedgwick and starring Walter Connolly, Paul Lukas and Gertrude Michael.[1] It is based on the Father Brown story "The Blue Cross" by G.K. Chesterton, a story which also informed the 1954 film Father Brown with Alec Guinness and Peter Finch.[2][3]

Father Brown, Detective
Father Brown, Detective (1934 film)
Directed byEdward Sedgwick
Produced byEdward Sedgwick
Bayard Veiller
Screenplay byHenry Myers
C. Gardner Sullivan
StarringWalter Connolly
Paul Lukas
Gertrude Michael
Music byComposer: title music (uncredited):
Heinz Roemheld
CinematographyTheodor Sparkuhl
Edited byJames Smith
Distributed byParamount Pictures
Release date
  • December 14, 1934 (USA)
Running time
68 minutes
CountryUnited States


When infamous jewel thief Flambeau (Paul Lukas) announces his intention to steal stones from a diamond cross in Father Brown (Walter Connolly)'s church, the crime-solving cleric fights to retain the cross, and also to save the soul of the elusive Flambeau.



  1. ^ "Father Brown, Detective (1934)".
  2. ^ Brunsdale, Mitzi M. (26 July 2010). "Icons of Mystery and Crime Detection: From Sleuths to Superheroes". ABC-CLIO – via Google Books.
  3. ^ "Father Brown (1954)".

External links

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Anthony Adverse is a 1936 American epic historical drama film directed by Mervyn LeRoy and starring Fredric March and Olivia de Havilland. Based on the first part of the novel Anthony Adverse by Hervey Allen, with a screenplay by Sheridan Gibney, the film is about an orphan whose debt to the man who raised him threatens to separate him forever from the woman he loves. The film received four Academy Awards.

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Brideshead Revisited, The Sacred & Profane Memories of Captain Charles Ryder is a novel by English writer Evelyn Waugh, first published in 1945. It follows, from the 1920s to the early 1940s, the life and romances of the protagonist Charles Ryder, including his friendship with the Flytes, a family of wealthy English Catholics who live in a palatial mansion called Brideshead Castle. Ryder has relationships with two of the Flytes: Sebastian and Julia. The novel explores themes including nostalgia for the age of English aristocracy, Catholicism, and the nearly overt homosexuality of Sebastian Flyte's coterie at Oxford University. A faithful and well-received television adaptation of the novel was produced in an 11-part miniseries by Granada Television in 1981.

E. E. Clive

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Father Brown

Father Brown is a fictional Roman Catholic priest and amateur detective who is featured in 53 short stories published between 1910 and 1936 written by English novelist G. K. Chesterton. Father Brown solves mysteries and crimes using his intuition and keen understanding of human nature. Chesterton loosely based him on the Rt Rev. Msgr. John O'Connor (1870–1952), a parish priest in Bradford, who was involved in Chesterton's conversion to Catholicism in 1922.

Father Brown (disambiguation)

Father Brown is a fictional character created by English novelist G. K. Chesterton.

Father Brown may also refer to:

Father Brown (film), 1954 British film

Father Brown (1974 TV series), 1974 British TV series that aired on ITV

Father Brown (2013 TV series), 2013 British TV series that aired on the BBC

Father Brown, Detective, 1934 American film

Father Brown (film)

Father Brown (The Detective in the United States) is a 1954 British mystery comedy film. Like the earlier 1934 Paramount picture Father Brown, Detective starring Walter Connolly, Paul Lukas and Gertrude Michael, the film is based on "The Blue Cross", a short story by G. K. Chesterton.

Flambeau (character)

M. Hercule Flambeau is a fictional character created by English novelist G. K. Chesterton, who appears in 48 short stories about the character Father Brown. A master criminal, his surname "Flambeau" is an alias, the French word for a flaming torch.

He first appeared in the story "The Blue Cross" as a jewel thief. Father Brown foiled his attempted crimes in this and several other stories. As a notorious and elusive criminal, Flambeau is a worry for law-enforcers. He is exposed by Father Brown, and later becomes a detective himself. His last appearance as a thief occurs in "The Flying Stars", in which Father Brown persuades him to return his loot and to give up the criminal life. As a reformed criminal, Flambeau assists Father Brown in a number of other short stories, beginning with "The Invisible Man".

Although Brown and Flambeau spend much of the day together in "The Blue Cross", when they meet again in "The Queer Feet", Brown recognizes Flambeau but the thief has no recollection of the priest.

Flambeau is an idiosyncratic character. Conventional detective fiction often splits humanity into the "good" and the "bad", but the priest sees things in a more graduated light, and considers the possibility of redemption. He becomes Flambeau's friend before he reforms him, and uses this friendship to transform him. In "The Secret of Flambeau", Flambeau credits Father Brown for his reformation when he says, "Have I not heard the sermons of the righteous? […] Do you think all that ever did anything but make me laugh? Only my friend told me that he knew exactly why I stole, and I have never stolen since."

Flambeau's fate is revealed in "The Secret of Father Brown". Retiring as a detective, he marries and settles in a Spanish castle, raises a large family and lives in a blissful state of domesticity. Flambeau gives up his assumed name and returns to using his birth name, Duroc.

It has been suggested that Agatha Christie's famous detective Hercule Poirot was inspired by the character

Flambeau has appeared in several film, television and radio adaptations. Actors who have portrayed him include:

Paul Lukas – Father Brown, Detective (1934 film)

Bill Griffis – The Adventures of Father Brown (1945 radio series)

Peter Finch – Father Brown/The Detective (US title) (1954 film)

Siegfried Lowitz – Das schwarze Schaf (The Black Sheep) (1960 film)

Dennis Burgess – Father Brown (1974 TV series)

Olivier Pierre – Father Brown Stories (1984–1986 BBC Radio series)

John Light – Father Brown (2013 TV series) (Episodes: 1.10 "The Blue Cross", 2.5 "The Mysteries of the Rosary", 3.10 "The Judgment of Man", 4.5 "The Daughter of Autolycus", 5.15 "The Penitent Man", 6.10 "The Two Deaths of Hercule Flambeau")

Fred Walton (actor)

Fred Walton (July 26, 1865 – December 28, 1936) was an English stage actor who immigrated to the United States in the early part of the 20th century and became a character actor in American silent and early sound films.

Gertrude Michael

Lillian Gertrude Michael (June 1, 1911 – December 31, 1964) was an American film, stage and television actress.

Gwenllian Gill

Gwenllian Gill (1915–2004) was a British film actress. After originally appearing in some films in Hollywood she returned to Britain to appear in leading roles in several quota quickies.

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List of Catholic authors

The authors listed on this page should be limited to those who identify as Catholic authors in some form. This does not mean they are necessarily orthodox in their beliefs. It does mean they identify as Catholic in a religious, cultural, or even aesthetic manner. The common denominator is that at least some (and preferably the majority) of their writing is imbued with a Catholic religious, cultural or aesthetic sensibility.

Paul Lukas

Paul Lukas (born Pál Lukács; May 26, 1894 – August 15, 1971) was a Hungarian actor. He won the Academy Award for Best Actor for his performance in the film Watch on the Rhine (1943), reprising the role he created on the Broadway stage.

The Blue Cross (short story)

"The Blue Cross" is a short story by G. K. Chesterton. It was the first Father Brown short story and also introduces the characters Flambeau and Valentin. It is unique among the Father Brown mysteries in that it does not follow the actions of the Father himself, but rather those of Valentin. It was first published on 23 June 1910, under the title "Valentin Follows a Curious Trail", in the Saturday Evening Post, Philadelphia. Re-titled as "The Blue Cross", publication in London followed, in The Story-Teller magazine of September 1910.

Theodor Sparkuhl

Theodor Sparkuhl (October 7, 1894, Hannover, Germany – June 13, 1946, Los Angeles, California) was a German-born cinematographer with over 100 movies to his credit.

Sparkuhl began his career as a projectionist in 1911. He was trained as a newsreel cameraman at the German subsidiary of the French film production company Gaumont in 1912. During World War I he chronicled battles in the Middle East and in Russia. In 1916 he became a lighting director of entertainment films, remaining in German films until 1928 (including many pictures under the direction of Ernst Lubitsch until Lubitsch's emigration to Hollywood in 1922).

From 1928 to 1930 Sparkuhl worked for British International Pictures in London. He relocated to France in 1930 where he worked with Jean Renoir and Marc Allégret. In December 1931 he and his family finally emigrated to Hollywood. He soon signed a contract with Paramount Pictures and worked for them until 1945.

Sparkuhl's most famous films include Renoir's La Chienne (1931), the classic adventure film Beau Geste (1939) and the seminal film noir The Glass Key (1942). The distinctive low-key photography in the latter film and his two other early film noirs Among the Living (1941) and Street of Chance (1942) is a remarkable change from the traditional flat lighting of the typical Hollywood crime films of the 1930s (like the 1935 film version of The Glass Key). Film historians consider Sparkuhl's work in these three films to be a significant contribution to the development of the archetypical noir style and an indication of its debt to German Expressionism and French Poetic realism.

Una O'Connor (actress)

Una O'Connor (born Agnes Teresa McGlade, 23 October 1880 – 4 February 1959) was an Irish-American actress who worked extensively in theatre before becoming a character actress in film and in television. She often portrayed comical wives, housekeepers and servants.

Walter Connolly

Walter Connolly (April 8, 1887 – May 28, 1940) was an American character actor who appeared in almost 50 films between 1914 and 1939. His best known film is It Happened One Night (1934).

Yorke Sherwood

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Émile Leon Cammaerts CBE (16 March 1878 in Saint-Gilles, Belgium – 2 November 1953, Radlett, Hertfordshire) was a Belgian playwright, poet (including war poet) and author who wrote primarily in English and French.Demonstrating his interests, Cammaerts translated three books by art, history and landscapes expert John Ruskin and selected G. K. Chesterton Father Brown detective stories in La clairvoyance du père Brown.He became Professor of Belgian Studies at the University of London in 1933, most of his works and papers are held there in the Senate House Library, and Emeritus Professor on retiring.

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