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The Falls (1980)

Not Rated | | Comedy, Sci-Fi | 6 August 1982 (Mexico)
92 BBC documentary-style shorts that record the lives of 92 victims of the VUE (Violent Unexplained Event), each with last names beginning with "Fall."


Peter Greenaway


Peter Greenaway
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Peter Westley Peter Westley
Aad Wirtz Aad Wirtz
Michael Murray Michael Murray ... ppis Fallabus
Lorna Poulter Lorna Poulter
Patricia Carr Patricia Carr
Adam Leys Adam Leys ... Narrator
Mary Howard Mary Howard
Sheila Canfield Sheila Canfield ... Narrator
Evelyn Owen Evelyn Owen
Hilarie Thompson ... Narrator (as Hilary Thompson)
Carole Meyer Carole Meyer
Monica Hyde Monica Hyde ... Woman using phone
Colleen Thomas Colleen Thomas
Neil Hopkins Neil Hopkins
Dewi Thomas Dewi Thomas


The planet has been affected by a mysterious occurrence known as the Violent Unknown Event, or V.U.E. It has caused immortality and disability. Victims have learned new and peculiar languages. Some firmly believe in the responsibility of birds. In this three-hour film, ninety-two biographies are presented of victims whose surnames begin with the letters F A L L. Presented in the mock documentary style of 'Water Wrackets' and 'Dear Phone', this is the culmination of the first period of Greenaway's work. It refers to shorts such as 'A Walk Through H' and 'Vertical Features Remake', and forwards to the likes of 'Drowning by Numbers' (there is reference to the three generations of Cissie Colpitts). Michael Nyman's sound-track is memorable; he later remade the 'Bird List Song' (which features in a variety of forms), as 'Hands 2 Take' with arty British band the Flying Lizards (best known for their minimal version of 'Money (that's what I want)'. Written by D.Giddings <darren.giddings@newcastle.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Sci-Fi


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Some of the location work for this film was done in the Lleyn Peninsula in Wales, and Peter Greenaway received extensive help at this time from members of the local Film Society. In gratitude, he offered to allow them to give the film its first-ever public screening as the first offering of their new season. The fact that it was a world premiere received extensive publicity, as did Greenaway's presence on the evening, and the committee of the society made it a members-only event to bolster their finances. As a result, on the night of the showing, the Lleyn Film Society had more members than ever before, but the actual showing of the film proved something of a disaster - audience members began walking out after only twenty minutes or so, and by the last half-hour of the film (which is over three hours long), the only people left in the auditorium were Greenaway and the committee members. Subsequent showings of the society were poorly attended. See more »


References Yellow Canary (1943) See more »

User Reviews

A Three Hour Shaggy Dog Story
2 September 2001 | by rand-4See all my reviews

I'm a big fan of Greenaway's works and I jumped at the chance to check out this early work by the director on video.

I can't add to what others have said here except to say that it's an excrutiating experience that doesn't have enough humor to keep your interest for the full running time.

At its best, "The Falls" is an interesting and sometimes funny curiosity that points to themes Greenaway would return to again and again in his later work; at its worst, "The Falls" is a tedious experiment.

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English | Dutch | French | German

Release Date:

6 August 1982 (Mexico) See more »

Also Known As:

Balesetek krónikája See more »

Filming Locations:

Abersoch, Gwynedd, Wales, UK

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


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