The Fallen Idol (1948)

Not Rated  |   |  Drama, Mystery, Thriller  |  25 October 1948 (UK)
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 5,146 users   Metascore: 88/100
Reviews: 58 user | 52 critic | 12 from

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.



(story), (screenplay), 2 more credits »
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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 7 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »



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


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 <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Not Rated | See all certifications »





Release Date:

25 October 1948 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

El ídolo caído  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

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


$141,502 (USA) (20 October 2006)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Carol Reed constantly watched Bobby Henrey, noting how he moved, how he stood or sat, how he listened to adults, what he did with his hands. He then adjusted every scene to incorporate the boy's natural actions and reactions. Reed would also take in whatever the boy did, show Bobby how to do the scene by imitating it, then Bobby would imitate Reed mimicking him. When asked how he could sob so heartbreakingly when his pet snake died, Bobby responded rather indignantly, "Well, he showed me. What's the producer for?" See more »


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 »


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


Featured in A Sense of Carol Reed (2006) See more »

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User Reviews

Lies My Butler Told Me
11 April 2006 | by (Ireland) – See all my reviews

Lies, sometimes, are an act of kindness. Many times I hasten to add. The imagination of a lonely child is ignited by a meek man in love. The man, as played by the extraordinary Ralph Richardson, is a mass of contradictions and yet we understand him. Married to a shrew and in love with Michele Morgan no less. Carol Reed is not a director that comes immediately to mind when one lists the greatest directors of all time, but in my book, is right up there with the very best. No other director has been able to bring Graham Green to the screen with its spirit so gloriously intact. Guilt and fear as riveting entertainment. Suspenseful, funny and beautiful to look at. Go try to top that.

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

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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
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