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
In order to protect Bobby Henrey from the adult themes and plot points, including adultery and violent death, most of the story was kept from him. Initially, Carol Reed just had Bobby do the basic actions needed for each scene. Gradually, he told him more and more about what was happening, and halfway through, Bobby was given the script to read. 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 »
Good day, sir... In his office there, miss.
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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.
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