FATHER BROWN - Catholic Priest


by Upatissa Attygalle

Gilbert Keith Keith Chesterton (1874-1936) created the most unlikely detective in fiction when in 1911 he introduced to the world Father Brown in his book titled, 'The Innocence of Father Brown'. G.K. Chesterton was already a giant in the literary field. He was responsible for all types of literature - poetry, novels, short stories, essays and controversial leaflets. He was a Roman Catholic in the true traditional manner. He and his fellow writer Hilarie Belloc could never agree with George Bernard Shaw's and H. G. Welles' socialist concepts. Belloc and he represented the world which believed in tradition.

Father Brown was quite like P. G. Wodehouse's charactor Bertie Wooster in that he gave the impression that he was dim witted and susceptible to be hoodwinked easily. However inside his plain and simple cassock beat an intrepid heart and housed an astute brain. Eleery' Queen the writer said that Father Brown was one of the three greatest detectives in crime fiction. The other two being Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes and the American writer Edgar Allan Poe's French detective Auguste Dupin.

Father Brown first went on to the silver screed in 1934 in the film 'Father Brown Detective' with the Hollywood movie actor Walter Connolly by Paramount Studios. The public thought it to be quite pleasantly interesting. Then in 1954 Columbia Studios, released their version with Sir Alec Guinness playing Father Brown. This was excellently executed With Sir Alec giving the definitive rendition of the charactor. Then in the sixties there were two German adaptations starring Heinz Ruhmann. In 1974 the priest went on to the small TV screen in Britain. After two TV versions, ATV produced twenty six, one hour long episodes with the then famous British actor the versatile Kenneth More. His interpretation of the main chracter came close to Sir Alec's. The American TV company NBC tried to relocate the cleric to New York. Their version with Bernard Huges met with complete disaster.

If there are detective story fans who have not read stories of Father Brown they should do so as soon as possible. They are still as thrilling and humorous as when they first made their appearance in 1911.

Sir Alec Guinness as Father Brown in the movie G. K. Chesterton creator of Father Brown.

animated gif
Processing Request
Please Wait...