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Father Brown, Detective

USA 1934
produced by
Edward Sedgwick, Bayard Veiller, Emanuel Cohen (executive) for Paramount
directed by Edward Sedgwick
starring Walter Connolly, Paul Lukas, Gertrude Michael, Robert Loraine, Halliwell Hobbes, Una O'Connor, E.E. Clive, Eldred Tidbury (= Donald Gray)
screenplay by Henry Myers, C.Gardner Sullivan, based on the stories by G.K. Chesterton

Father Brown

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Masterthief Flambeau (Paul Lukas) has found a new object of his affection, socialite Evelyn Fischer (Gertrude Michael), whom he saves from a raid of an illegal casino. Little does he realize she has fallen for him as well, so he figures to win her affections he has to steal the 10 Flying Stars, diamonds worth a king's ransom, to give them to her as a gift. So he sends the two owners of the Stars letters announcing he's going to steal them (hey, he's a masterthief, he wouldn't have it any other way).

However, stealing these diamonds is harder than he imagined: Four of them belong to Father Brown (Walter Connolly), who proves to be way smarter that Flambeau could have expected, and who's more than able to guess his identity no matter in which disguise he shows up, and more than capable to hide the cross the diamonds are attached to from the masterthief. However, Brown always helps Flambeau to slip away from the police, because he wants to save his soul before he hands him over to the authorities. Flambeau though is convinced making him mend his ways is impossible.

The other six diamonds belong to Leopold Fischer (Halliwell Hobbes), who just happens to be Evelyn's father. Now it's easy enough (for an ingenious criminal) to snatch the diamonds away from Leopold Fischer, but in the process, Flambeau has to give away his identity to Evelyn ... who is less than pleased.

Flambeau pays another visit to Father Brown to steal the diamonds, but the priest talks him out of it for good, telling him that this way he will never win Evelyn - who is actually waiting in the next room. Then though the police arrives unexpectedly to arrest Flambeau, but Father Brown helps him escape yet again. Once in safety though, Flambeau reconsiders, returns to the priest's place and gives himself up to the authorities - and Evelyn promises to wait until he's released from prison again ...


The first film to be based on the Father Brown stories by G.K. Chesterton, this is not exactly a great film, but at the same time a rather well-made crime comedy carried by a pretty good cast and a rather elegant direction. This however cannot totally obscure that the film suffers from a few too many plotholes (first and foremost: How come it has escaped Flambeau that Evelyn is Fischer's daughter while he seems to know everything else about both him and her), lacks any real tension and comes across a bit toothless.

That all said, you might still find yourself entertained in a somewhat cute, old-fashioned way. The movie is just quite a distance away from actual greatness.


review © by Mike Haberfelner


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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD