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The Falling (2014)

Not Rated | | Drama, Mystery, Thriller | 24 April 2015 (UK)
1:44 | Trailer

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It's 1969 at a strict English girls' school where charismatic Abbie and intense and troubled Lydia are best friends. After a tragedy occurs at the school, a mysterious fainting epidemic breaks out threatening the stability of all involved.


Carol Morley


Carol Morley
3,456 ( 1,449)
3 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Maxine Peake ... Eileen Lamont
Maisie Williams ... Lydia Lamont
Florence Pugh ... Abbie Mortimer
Anna Burnett ... Susan
Greta Scacchi ... Miss Edith Mantel
Hannah Rose Caton ... Titch (as Rose Caton)
Lauren McCrostie ... Gwen
Katie Ann Knight Katie Ann Knight ... Connie
Evie Hooton Evie Hooton ... Janet
Monica Dolan ... Miss Martha Alvaro
Mathew Baynton ... Mr Hopkins
Morfydd Clark ... Miss Pamela Charron
Joe Cole ... Kenneth Lamont
Elizabeth Marsh Elizabeth Marsh ... Miss Fanshawe
Hannah Stokely Hannah Stokely ... Miss Ash


It's 1969 at a strict English girls' school where charismatic Abbie and intense and troubled Lydia are best friends. After a tragedy occurs at the school, a mysterious fainting epidemic breaks out threatening the stability of all involved.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »






Release Date:

24 April 2015 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Eszmélet See more »


Box Office


£750,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs




Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The poem in voiceover "There was a time when meadow, grove and stream..." is 'Ode on intimations of immortality' by William Wordsworth. See more »

Crazy Credits

There are no opening titles, and the film's title is only shown at the end. See more »


Features Tomorrow's World (1965) See more »


Alternative School Orchestra Theme
Devised and performed by Hannah Rose Caton, Evie Hooton, Katie Ann Knight, Lauren McCrostie, Florence Pugh and Maisie Williams
Additional music, vocals and arrangement by Tracey Thorn
See more »

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User Reviews

An introspective, claustrophobic tale of teen malaise, late '60s Britain style
30 November 2015 | by bob_megSee all my reviews

Carol Morley's second feature achieves something rather spectacular, given that it's one of those indolent period pieces featuring two drastically different girlhood friends in Britain, circa 1969, both attending a strict repressive girl's school.

It's notable in that, while containing no one action that sets the screen ablaze, it manages to keep you mesmerized for virtually its entire run-time. The themes of the story and the shooting style bear favorable, heavy influence from both Peter Weir's gorgeous Aussie fever-dream "Picnic at Hanging Rock" and Lindsey Anderson's prep-school-in-revolt landmark "If....".

It also helps to have two young actresses of the astonishing caliber of Maisie Williams and Florence Pugh to play the lead roles. Williams, as Lydia, carries the emotional load of the piece wonderfully, as the smart-tongued sardonic underachiever with a nightmare home-life and a curiously-stunted sexuality (her older brother only half-teasingly refers to her as "Crazy Face"). Of course, her best friend Abbie (Pugh) is a beautiful blonde bombshell who succeeds at everything she tries, yet still carries an enormous amount of self-destructive baggage.

When Abbie gets knocked up ("I don't understand it.... we did the Catholic thing... he PULLED OUT!"), her Sexcapades get even more daring until finally she begins collapsing at school. Shortly after, Lydia begins to experience the same symptoms and it soon becomes a contagion that has the student body literally swooning in the halls, with balletic abandon.

Sounds rather stupid, doesn't it? Well, it isn't, thanks to the gravitas Morley imbues both her characters with as well as the mystery beneath which cuts with razor-like precision at the issues of repression, conformism, and parental abandonment. Add to that a career-making turn by Maxine Peake as Lydia's agoraphobic, terminally-depressed mother and you have a film that enraptures more by what it doesn't tell you, than what it does.

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