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Das Schwarze Schaf

The Black Sheep

West Germany 1960
produced by
Utz Utermann, Claus Hardt (executive) for Bavaria Filmkunst
directed by Helmut Ashley
starring Heinz Rühmann, Karl Schönböck, Maria Sebaldt, Siegfried Lowitz, Lina Carstens, Fritz Rasp, Herbert Tiede, Friedrich Domin, Hans Leibelt, Rosel Schäfer, Gernot Duda, Herta Fahrenkrog, Wolf Peterson, Johannes Buzalski, Kathatina Herberg, Hans Dieter Jendreyko, T.P.McKenna
screenplay by István Békeffy, Hans Jacoby, based on stories by G.K.Chesterton, music by Martin Böttcher

Father Brown, Father Brown (Heinz Rühmann)

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Father Brown (Heinz Rühmann) has just been moved to another parish for meddling in a murder mystery (and finding the murderer single-handedly) when he stumbles over another corpse, that of an influencial banker (Hans Leibelt), and almost against his own will, Brown starts investigating again, and finds out the dead man had vital information about seemingly worthless stocks the killer wanted to cheat Lord Kingsley (Fritz Rasp) out of ... and he succeeded too. Thing is, whoever cheated Kingsley out of his stock seems to have disappeared from the face of the earth - until Father Brown figures it must have been Scarletti (Karl Schönböck), dead director and leading man of a travelling theatre group that has just hit town. Problem is, Scarletti has an alibi for both the murder and the stealing of the stocks, and the alibi is Father Brown himself. Then though Scarletti turns up dead, shot on stage, and the key suspects of the murder are Flambeau (Siegfried Lowitz), a reformed criminal Brown himself asked to search Scarletti's dressing room, and Kingsley, who has long figured out Scarletti has tricked him and has come to the theatre with the intent to killhim - but has only shot his own mirror image, it turns out. After a bit of to and fro it turns out that Scarletti wasn't shot at all but his twin brother whom Scarletti used as a perfect alibi in all his crooked deals. But when the twin got too greedy, Scarletti decided it was time to shoot him too. Of course, it is Brown who's the first one to figure that out, and it's Brown who has a showdown with Scarletti (where he's saed by the police only in the very last second) - and as a thank you for his meddling, he is moved to yet another parish ...


Rather weak krimi (= German crime movie) that takes an awful long time (about a third of its running time) to even start its main narrative, and when it does, it's ridiculously far-fetched and riddled with leaps of reason. Plus, the movie as a whole is way too nice to ever create anything remotely resembling suspense, while Heinz Rühmann's performance as the crime-solving priest lacks any eccentrricity the role calls for. All this makes up not exactly for a bad film, rather a boring one.


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