MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 277 this week

The Fallen Idol (1948)

7.9
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.9/10 from 4,389 users   Metascore: 88/100
Reviews: 57 user | 46 critic | 12 from Metacritic.com

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 »
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Instant Video

Editors' Spotlight

Venice Film Festival

See the latest from the 2014 Venice Film Festival


User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 21 titles
created 12 Apr 2011
 
a list of 31 titles
created 27 Jun 2012
 
a list of 35 titles
created 29 Oct 2012
 
a list of 30 titles
created 22 Jan 2013
 
a list of 27 titles
created 14 May 2013
 

Related Items

Search for "The Fallen Idol" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: The Fallen Idol (1948)

The Fallen Idol (1948) on IMDb 7.9/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Fallen Idol.
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 9 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

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
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

In the Post-World War II, the British Susanne Mallison travels to Berlin to visit her older brother Martin Mallison, a military that has married the German Bettina Mallison. The naive ... See full summary »

Director: Carol Reed
Stars: James Mason, Claire Bloom, Hildegard Knef
Drama | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A man occupies a position of trust with a merchant in a Far East port. When he is discovered stealing he is sacked, but he pretends to commit suicide and a captain he befriended agrees to take him to a secret trading post. In HD.

Director: Carol Reed
Stars: Ralph Richardson, Trevor Howard, Robert Morley
Comedy | Thriller | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

When the Germans march into Prague, armour-plating inventor Dr Bomasch flees to England. His daughter Anna escapes from arrest to join him, but the Gestapo manage to kidnap them both back ... See full summary »

Director: Carol Reed
Stars: Margaret Lockwood, Rex Harrison, Paul Henreid
Flap (1970)
Certificate: GP Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Comedy based on the plight of modern Native Americans living on reservations.

Director: Carol Reed
Stars: Anthony Quinn, Claude Akins, Tony Bill
Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

The biographical story of Michelangelo's troubles while painting the Sistine Chapel at the urging of Pope Julius II.

Director: Carol Reed
Stars: Charlton Heston, Rex Harrison, Diane Cilento
Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Nurse Anne Graham is controversially - but rightly - acquitted of murder after her elderly patient dies in suspicious circumstances. Changing her name she gets a position nursing ... See full summary »

Director: Carol Reed
Stars: Margaret Lockwood, Barry K. Barnes, Emlyn Williams
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Jim Wormold is an expatriate Englishman living in pre-revolutionary Havana with his teenage daughter Milly. He owns a vacuum cleaner shop but isn't very successful so he accepts an offer ... See full summary »

Director: Carol Reed
Stars: Alec Guinness, Maureen O'Hara, Burl Ives
The Third Man (1949)
Film-Noir | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

Pulp novelist Holly Martins travels to shadowy, postwar Vienna, only to find himself investigating the mysterious death of an old friend, black-market opportunist Harry Lime.

Director: Carol Reed
Stars: Orson Welles, Joseph Cotten, Alida Valli
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Hard up and with a grudge against insurance companies, Rex Black feigns his death and meets up with his wife and the money in Malaga when things seemed to have quietened down. But when the ... See full summary »

Director: Carol Reed
Stars: Laurence Harvey, Lee Remick, Alan Bates
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

When a straight-laced British accountant marries a free-spirited American, he starts trying to change her. His wife doesn't keep regular hours, so he suspects an affair and hires a ... See full summary »

Director: Carol Reed
Stars: Mia Farrow, Topol, Michael Jayston
Wonder Boy (1951)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  
Director: Karl Hartl
Stars: Bobby Henrey, Elwyn Brook-Jones, Muriel Aked
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Sonia Dresdel ...
Bobby Henrey ...
Denis O'Dea ...
...
Walter Fitzgerald ...
Dandy Nichols ...
Mrs. Patterson
Joan Young ...
Mrs. Barrow
Karel Stepanek ...
First Secretary
Gerard Heinz ...
Torin Thatcher ...
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

Plot Keywords:

secret | embassy | butler | french | ambassador | See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

25 October 1948 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Kleines Herz in Not  »

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

Although Carol Reed had an outstanding record of working with young actors, he found Bobby Henrey's short attention span very difficult to cope with. Many of his scenes were played with the young man looking at his favorite grip or electrician, and his performance was pieced together in the cutting room. 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

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

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Adult Mysteries Through A Child's Confused Eyes--and a Beautiful Camera
16 March 2006 | by (Queens, NY) – See all my reviews

"The Fallen Idol" builds on a classic situation of English children's literature--the lonely rich kid from overseas in the big house left with hired caregivers-- to create a masterful suspense tale that deftly examines truths and half-truths, lies and white lies from the boy's confused perspective.

Based on Graham Greene's short story "The Basement Room", the film builds on the look of Hitchcock's "Rebecca", with a house as visually significant as Manderlay, plus fraught with Lillian Hellman's sophisticated view of childhood as in "These Three". Key is not just Georges Périnal's enthralling story, but the stunning direction by Carol Reed in how he uses gorgeous black and white cinematography from both a memorable interior and a London that ranges from scary night to a misleadingly bright daylight that is equally full of secrets, as seen in a new 35 MM print at NYC's Film Forum.

The beautiful production design is dominated by a gorgeous staircase in the ambassador's residence that has to rank with one of the all time movie centerpieces as in "Gone With The Wind", and is as central for the first and last third of the film as the Rear Window in another Hitchcock film. Reed has the camera go up and down those heavily symbolic stairs as a shared link from the main floors that are the busy public areas, down to the basement servant quarters then up and up to the private residential areas, with overlooking balconies and windows that are key for spying on each level. The staircase sets up several dramatic events (adding layers to the film's title), climaxing in a notable scene of the incredibly tense voyage of a child's innocent-seeming paper airplane that carries a significant clue slowly, slowly traversing that vertical no-man's/everyman's land from the top to the bottom, as we hold our breath where it will land.

Throughout the film, the complex world of adult relationships and interactions is seen through the eyes of a child (the wonderfully natural, lively, lisping Bobby Henrey - who now lives in Connecticut and did a Q & A at the Film Forum I didn't attend) so that childish activities take on ironic or double meanings of freedom or dread, between appearances and reality, from a good night story, to a game of hide and seek, to a picnic, to running away, to an idyll at the zoo that one would assume inspired Rowling for a key scene in "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone". Throughout the film, the boy constantly misunderstands what he is seeing - sometimes he sees the truth, sometimes he doesn't, sometimes he only sees part of the truth, as the adults alternate in advising him to lie or don't lie.

The young Ralph Richardson is absolutely marvelous as he switches from father substitute to hen-pecked husband (Sonia Dresdel as his wife recalls Agnes Moorhead), to relaxed lover, to efficient butler.

While this new print revival is being distributed as a forgotten masterpiece, my parents vividly remembered seeing it first run in their neighborhood Brooklyn movie theater and that it was quite popular. I presume that the same team's next work on the masterpiece "The Third Man" overshadowed this gem in film history, but also perhaps because this film doesn't end on quite the cynicism that a contemporary audience expects from their work.


27 of 33 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
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
Moral of plot- 'Kids should be seen and not heard' rtjoby
Discuss The Fallen Idol (1948) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?