A butler working in a foreign embassy in London falls under suspicion when his wife accidentally falls to her death, the only witness being an impressionable young boy.

Director:

Writers:

(story), (screenplay) | 2 more credits »

On Disc

at Amazon

Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 7 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Odd Man Out (1947)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A wounded Irish nationalist leader attempts to evade police following a failed robbery. Action takes place in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

Director: Carol Reed
Stars: James Mason, Robert Newton, Cyril Cusack
Comedy | Thriller | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

When Germany invades Czechoslovakia, the German and the British intelligence services try to capture Czech scientist Axel Bomasch, inventor of a new type of armor-plating.

Director: Carol Reed
Stars: Margaret Lockwood, Rex Harrison, Paul Henreid
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Jim Wormold, who is a vacuum cleaner salesman, participates as an agent in the British Secret Service. But he soon realizes that his plans by lying are going to get him into trouble.

Director: Carol Reed
Stars: Alec Guinness, Maureen O'Hara, Burl Ives
Crime | Film-Noir | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A pickpocket unwittingly lifts a message destined for enemy agents and becomes a target for a Communist spy ring.

Director: Samuel Fuller
Stars: Richard Widmark, Jean Peters, Thelma Ritter
Drama | Film-Noir | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A war-veteran-turned-truck driver attempts to avenge the crippling and robbing of his father at the hands of an amoral produce scofflaw.

Director: Jules Dassin
Stars: Richard Conte, Valentina Cortese, Lee J. Cobb
The Big Clock (1948)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A career oriented magazine editor finds himself on the run when he discovers his boss is framing him for murder.

Director: John Farrow
Stars: Ray Milland, Maureen O'Sullivan, Charles Laughton
Drama | Film-Noir | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A potentially violent screenwriter is a murder suspect until his lovely neighbor clears him. But she begins to have doubts...

Director: Nicholas Ray
Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Gloria Grahame, Frank Lovejoy
Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A meek bank clerk who oversees the shipment of bullion joins with an eccentric neighbor to steal gold bars and smuggle them out of the country as miniature Eiffel Towers.

Director: Charles Crichton
Stars: Alec Guinness, Stanley Holloway, Sidney James
Joan of Paris (1942)
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

An RAF squadron is brought down over occupied France. The flyers get to Paris in spite of the fact that the youngest, Baby, is injured. He must be hidden and his wounds cared for. The Gestapo has already issued orders for their arrest.

Director: Robert Stevenson
Stars: Michèle Morgan, Paul Henreid, Thomas Mitchell
Crime | Film-Noir | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A small-time grifter and nightclub tout takes advantage of some fortuitous circumstances and tries to become a big-time player as a wrestling promoter.

Director: Jules Dassin
Stars: Richard Widmark, Gene Tierney, Googie Withers
Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

The rise and fall of Stanton Carlisle, a mentalist who's lies and deceit prove to be his downfall.

Director: Edmund Goulding
Stars: Tyrone Power, Joan Blondell, Coleen Gray
Wonder Boy (1951)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
Director: Karl Hartl
Stars: Bobby Henrey, Elwyn Brook-Jones, Muriel Aked
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Sonia Dresdel ...
...
Denis O'Dea ...
...
Walter Fitzgerald ...
Dandy Nichols ...
Joan Young ...
Karel Stepanek ...
First Secretary
Gerard Heinz ...
...
Policeman
James Hayter ...
Perry
Geoffrey Keen ...
Detective Davis (as Geoffrey Keene)
...
Edit

Storyline

Philippe, a diplomat's son and good friend of Baines the butler, is confused by the complexities and evasions of adult life. He tries to keep secrets but ends up telling them. He lies to protect his friends, even though he knows he should tell the truth. He resolves not to listen to adults' stories any more when Baines is suspected of murdering his wife and no-one will listen to Philippe's vital information. Written by <P.M.Laws@education.leeds.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

25 October 1948 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

El ídolo caído  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$9,030 (USA) (10 February 2006)

Gross:

$141,502 (USA) (20 October 2006)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Despite his character's hatred of Mrs. Baines, Bobby Henrey's favorite person on set was the actress who played her, Sonia Dresdel. See more »

Goofs

When Julie leaves the tea shop and closes the shop door, there is an Open / Closed sign hanging on the glass pane of the door. But when Baines and Phillipe leave the tea shop a minute or so later, the sign is no longer there. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Baines: Good day, sir... In his office there, miss.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Gerald McBoing-Boing (1950) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
The Fallen Idol: Minor Masterpiece
14 April 2006 | by (Los Angeles, California) – See all my reviews

Just saw "The Fallen Idol" at the Nu-Art in West Los Angeles on the last day of its one week run, with a new crystal clear 35 mm print. The meaning of the title only becomes clear at the film's conclusion, so I won't say much more on that score. From a Graham Greene novella which I have never read, the author drafted the screenplay, so presumably the film remains faithful to Greene's perennial themes: loyalty and betrayal; faith and faithlessness; marriage and divorce. What makes these issues intriguing is that the film largely revolves around the point of view of an innocent, charming young boy called Phillipe, played to perfection by Bobby Henrey. He lives in the London embassy of a French speaking country, which is a sort of purgatory (always the Catholic themes with Greene) which is both in England and not subject to its laws. He is taken care of by a kind valet/ chef de maison called Baines (understatedly played by Ralph Richardson) and his Cruella De Ville of a wife (played as the personification of small-minded evil by Sonia Dresdel). Phillipe has no mother (she has been unwell and away for a long time), and no memory of her. Insteads, he has the run of his own Garden of Eden-the huge Embassy with its lovely views over London, great rooms and sweeping staircases. He even has his own snake- a pet that he hides behind a brick on the balcony and carries around in his pocket. He hero-worships Baines, who indulges him and talk to him and hates Mrs Baines who orders him around, hectors him and threatens him at every turn. The story of the film occurs over a week-end, where Phillippe and the Baines' are left alone in the Embassy as the ambassador has gone to bring back his wife from her convalescence, and revolves how Phillipe understands the love triangle between Mr Baines and Mrs Baines and the lovely Julie (played with cheek-bones high) by Michele Morgan, speaking both French and English.

Look out for some terrific performances by the main cast (especially Bobby Henrey as Phillipe), but also by a series of supporting characters : two washerwomen, a sharp tongued lady of the night, a kindly bobby, several detectives and a perceptive doctor. The photography bears mentioning. There are shades of the "Third Man", as well as a great hide and seek game in darkness under the furniture in the empty Embassy, and a truly memorable run through the empty streets of London in the dark. From a personal point of view I enjoyed several scenes shot on location at the London Zoo, which was all very familiar even from a fifty year vantage point.

The film won a British Academy award so it's not exactly undiscovered, but it's not been easy to find at revival theaters or on DVD, but it deserves to be. As I said at the top, a minor masterpiece which operates on many levels. (Los Angeles-April 2006).


51 of 61 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
I get to meet Bobby Henrey in person! DavidW1947
I didn't care for Phillipe. Okada_Toru
Favourite line? emmas_place2003
that kid ncblue66
Interesting shots of London Zoo in the forties clive-ihd
Mrs. Baines was a real bitch. richsass
Discuss The Fallen Idol (1948) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?