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The Fallen Idol (1948)

Approved | | Drama, Mystery, Thriller | 25 October 1948 (UK)
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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:

Carol Reed

Writers:

Graham Greene (based on a short story by), Graham Greene (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 7 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ralph Richardson ... Baines
Michèle Morgan ... Julie (as Michele Morgan)
Sonia Dresdel ... Mrs. Baines
Bobby Henrey ... Phillipe
Denis O'Dea ... Inspector Crowe
Jack Hawkins ... Detective Ames
Walter Fitzgerald ... Dr. Fenton
Dandy Nichols ... Mrs. Patterson
Joan Young Joan Young ... Mrs. Barrow
Karel Stepanek ... First Secretary
Gerard Heinz ... Ambassador
Torin Thatcher ... Policeman
James Hayter ... Perry
Geoffrey Keen ... Detective Davis (as Geoffrey Keene)
Bernard Lee ... Detective Hart
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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

Taglines:

The Suspense is Almost Unbearable ... in this Four-Award Thriller !


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

25 October 1948 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

El ídolo caído See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$9,030, 12 February 2006, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$341,121
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In casting Phillipe, Carol Reed and company found the face they were looking for on the cover of a book, "A Village in Piccadilly", part of a trilogy about the lives of French refugees from Nazism who had settled in London. The author, Robert Henrey, and his wife were two such people, along with their eight-year-old son Bobby, whose picture graced the cover. London Films Production Executive Bill O'Brien contacted the Henreys to set up a screen test with Sir Ralph Richardson. Madeleine Henrey, the mother, was reluctant, fearing the experience would spoil her son, but her husband thought it might be good character-building for him. She agreed it was a possibility, but only if she could be present on-set at all times and personally supervise him. Bobby was flown in for the screen test by Executive Producer Alexander Korda from Normandy, where he was visiting his grandmother. 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

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

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User Reviews

 
Fallen Idol one of my favorites
22 August 2005 | by rkroningiSee 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.


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