The Fallen Idol (1948)

Not Rated  |   |  Drama, Mystery, Thriller  |  25 October 1948 (UK)
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 5,082 users   Metascore: 88/100
Reviews: 58 user | 48 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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Title: The Fallen Idol (1948)

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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?


Because Bobby Henrey was not used to working with other actors, Carol Reed had to shoot him primarily in reaction shots. He also had to keep his dialogue down to small bits, so the film was planned to be very cut heavy. In its 95-minute running time there are more than 1,000 edits. 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 »


References Nick Carter, Master Detective (1939) See more »

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User Reviews

Fallen Idol one of my favorites
22 August 2005 | by (Seaside OR) – See all my reviews

Fallen Idol is a great film, with all actors in fine form, especially Ralph Richardson, and including the boy. Richardon is the embassy butler married to a shrewish, domineering wife. He has an illicit, albeit discreet love affair with a beautiful young embassy secretary - you can't help but feel for them both. When the shrew is found done in by a fall down the ornate embassy staircase, the wonderful gentlemen detective types enter, ever so politely, of course. Fallen Idol is an example of the best of British movie-making: low key, sympathetic, civilized. The boy's pet snake is a nice touch. A gem; a good example of the type of fine film that I wish could be made more available here. A Graham Greene story, directed by Carol Reed - what more could we want. Another great Carol Reed 'lost' film is 'Outcast of the Islands', also with Ralph Richardson.

35 of 38 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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