7.8/10
6,574
63 user 60 critic

The Fallen Idol (1948)

Trailer
1:23 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $3.99 (SD) on Prime Video

ON DISC
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 (story "The Basement Room"), Graham Greene (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 7 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

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 in Belfast.

Director: Carol Reed
Stars: James Mason, Robert Newton, Cyril Cusack
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

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

Director: Carol Reed
Stars: James Mason, Claire Bloom, Hildegard Knef
The Big Clock (1948)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

After murdering someone, a magazine tycoon tries to frame an unknown, innocent man of the murder instead, while the innocent man tries to solve the murder himself.

Director: John Farrow
Stars: Ray Milland, Maureen O'Sullivan, Charles Laughton
Thriller | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

When Germany invades Czechoslovakia, the German and the British intelligence services try to capture Czech scientist Axel Bomasch, inventor of a new type of armor-plating.

Director: Carol Reed
Stars: Margaret Lockwood, Rex Harrison, Paul Henreid
Brighton Rock (1948)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Pinkie Brown is a small-town hoodlum whose gang runs a protection racket based at Brighton race course. When Pinkie murders a journalist called Fred Hale whom he believes is responsible for... See full summary »

Director: John Boulting
Stars: Richard Attenborough, Hermione Baddeley, William Hartnell
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Stephen Neale has just been released from an asylum during World War 2 in England when he stumbles on a deadly Nazi spy plot by accident, and tries to stop it.

Director: Fritz Lang
Stars: Ray Milland, Marjorie Reynolds, Carl Esmond
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Two New York City detectives investigate the death of an attractive young woman. The apparent suicide turns out to be murder.

Director: Jules Dassin
Stars: Barry Fitzgerald, Howard Duff, Dorothy Hart
Crime | Film-Noir | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A small-time grifter and nightclub tout takes advantage of some fortuitous circumstances and tries to become a big-time player as a wrestling promoter.

Director: Jules Dassin
Stars: Richard Widmark, Gene Tierney, Googie Withers
Trapeze (1956)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A crippled circus acrobat is torn emotionally between two ambitious young trapeze artists, one a talented young American and a less-gifted but beautiful Italian.

Director: Carol Reed
Stars: Burt Lancaster, Tony Curtis, Gina Lollobrigida
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Davey Fenwick leaves his mining village on a university scholarship intent on returning to better support the miners against the owners. But he falls in love with Jenny who gets him to ... See full summary »

Director: Carol Reed
Stars: Michael Redgrave, Margaret Lockwood, Edward Rigby
Drama | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A man occupies a position of trust with a merchant in an East Asian port. He's sacked when he's caught stealing, but he pretends to commit suicide, and a Captain he befriended agrees to take him to a secret trading post.

Director: Carol Reed
Stars: Ralph Richardson, Trevor Howard, Robert Morley
Brute Force (1947)
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

At a tough penitentiary, prisoner Joe Collins plans to rebel against Captain Munsey, the power-mad chief guard.

Director: Jules Dassin
Stars: Burt Lancaster, Hume Cronyn, Charles Bickford
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ralph Richardson ... Baines
Michèle Morgan ... Julie
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
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

Taglines:

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


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

25 October 1948 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

El ídolo caído See more »

Edit

Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$9,030, 12 February 2006, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$57,745, 18 November 2016
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

London Film Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Although Bobby Henrey had no experience at all, Carol Reed was delighted with his screentest and felt that he could work well with him. Bobby was smart, and had a hint of a French accent, which fit very well with the role. He was also an only child, which meant he could get along well in the company of adults. The only problem Reed saw was that the boy had a black nail from using a hammer. Reed told Mrs. Henrey to not let the boy play with hammers, but to also encourage him to keep his accent and, above all, to not grow any bigger until shooting was completed. A governess was appointed to look after Henrey. 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 »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
"No, we have to tell lies, and more lies."
29 October 2005 | by theowinthropSee all my reviews

Produced only a year or two before THE THIRD MAN, THE FALLEN IDOL is as good a film, and directed by the same man: Sir Carol Reed. Here we are in a claustrophobic world of an Embassy in London. The Ambassador and his wife are too busy to watch their son Phillipe (Bobby Henrey), so the boy is dropped off into the hands of the Embassy's butler Baines (Ralph Richardson). Baines' wife (Sonia Rendell) is a jealous shrew. She has reason to be jealous - Baines is having an affair with a younger woman named Julie (Michelle Morgan). Phillipe likes Baines, whom he idolizes as a strong father figure in the absence of his real father. He also likes Julie, and he dislikes Mrs. Baines. There is reason for that - in her moments of anger and jealousy she does act harshly and nastily towards Phillipe.

In pursuit of proof of her husband's infidelities, Mrs. Baines goes to incredible lengths. She even stands on a dangerous ledge to watch them. But a gust of wind causes the lower part of the window to knock her legs out from underneath her, causing her to fall two stories to her death. Enter the police (Jack Hawkins, Geoffrey Keen, Bernard Lee), who are wondering how Mrs. Baines died so violently. Baines and Julie panic, and begin trying to put together a coherent story of an accident (although they know nothing about what actually happened). They have no choice but to involve Phillipe, but this is unfortunate because the little fellow knows little about creative, consistent lying. So details of Baines' relationship with Julie come out, and the police begin to wonder that this is not an accident but murder.

The film is a gem because much of it is shot from the perspective of the boy. He has admired Baines as a honorable father figure, but he is increasingly worried for Baines and Julie and he is increasingly confused when, far from being advocates of honesty, they suggest he lie to assist them. The film does end with a degree of disillusionment for the little fellow, rather unusual for such films in general. But the disillusionment is a key to Greene's view of the world (Holly Martin's of his pal Harry Lime in THE THIRD MAN for instance, or Van Johnson's views of God and Deborah Kerr in the original THE END OF THE AFFAIR). It is a remarkably good film, and well worth watching.


45 of 52 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 63 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Popular Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed