The Fallen Idol

( 2 )

Overview

Adapted from the Graham Greene story The Basement Room, director Carol Reed's The Fallen Idol is told almost completely from a child's eye view-but it isn't a children's story. Young Bobby Henrey idolizes household butler Ralph Richardson. Therefore, when it seems as though Richardson might be implicated in a murder, Bobby does his best to throw the police off the track. The boy succeeds only in casting even more suspicion upon Richardson. As the story progresses, Henrey's hero worship is eroded by Richardson's ...
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Overview

Adapted from the Graham Greene story The Basement Room, director Carol Reed's The Fallen Idol is told almost completely from a child's eye view-but it isn't a children's story. Young Bobby Henrey idolizes household butler Ralph Richardson. Therefore, when it seems as though Richardson might be implicated in a murder, Bobby does his best to throw the police off the track. The boy succeeds only in casting even more suspicion upon Richardson. As the story progresses, Henrey's hero worship is eroded by Richardson's shifty behavior, and even more so when the boy discovers that the butler's boasts of previous heroism are just so much hot air. The ending of the film differs radically from Greene's story. While it would seem that director Reed was merely paying homage to the "happy ending" philosophy hardly likely, given the doleful climaxes of such films as Odd Man Out and The Third Man, the director had very solid reasons for altering the story: he was more fascinated by the concept of the boy's imagination nearly sending his idol to the gallows, rather than having the butler entrapped by facts. And though the ending is happy for the boy, the butler's fate is much more nebulous.
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Special Features

New, restored high-definition digital transfer; A Sense of Carol Reed, a 2006 documentary featuring interviews with director Carol Reed's collaborators and friends; Illustrated Reed filmography; Original press book; Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing; Plus: A booklet featuring new essays by critic Geoffrey O'Brien, author David Lodge, and Reed biographer Nicholas Wapshott
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Michael Costello
In the first of his three collaborations with screenwriter Graham Greene, he and Carol Reed fashion a memorable film on one of the writer's pet themes: a child's discovery of the world of adult morality. In this case, the hero-worship of a young boy (Bobby Henrey) for the kindly butler (Ralph Richardson), in whose care he has been left, is damaged when he stumbles on the servant's adulterous affair. Told from the boy's point of view, it underlines his complete isolation when, in spite of his disillusionment, he tries to protect the butler during a police investigation. The filmmakers have maninpulated the plot to create a more suspenseful ending in allowing the boy to be tortured by his imagination, a childhood affliction which fascinated Greene. Richardson gives arguably his finest performance on film as a gentle, even noble character, whose concern for his charge eventually contributes to his undoing. Reed was especially gifted with child actors, and here, he elicits a higly nuanced performance from Henrey. Working without his usual cameraman, Robert Krasker, Reed nevertheless gets superb work from Georges Périnal, who transforms the narrow physical confines of this story into a fully dimensional world.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 11/7/2006
  • UPC: 715515020527
  • Original Release: 1948
  • Rating:

  • Source: Criterion
  • Region Code: 1
  • Time: 1:35:00
  • Format: DVD

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Ralph Richardson Baines
Michèle Morgan Julie
Bobby Henrey Felipe, Phillipe
Sonia Dresdel Mrs. Baines
Jack Hawkins Detective Ames
Denis O'Dea Inspector Crowe
Dora Bryan Rose
Walter Fitzgerald Dr. Fenton
Karel Stepanek First Secretary
Joan Young Mrs. Barrow
Dandy Nichols Mrs. Patterson
Bernard Lee Detective Hart
Hay Petrie Clockwinder
James Hayter Perry
John Ruddock Dr. Wilson
Torin Thatcher Policeman "A"
Ethel Coleridge Housekeeper
Nora Gordon Waitress
Gerard Heinz Ambassador
Geoffrey Keen Detective Davis
James Swan Policeman
George Woodbridge Police Sergeant
Technical Credits
Carol Reed Director, Producer
William Alwyn Score Composer
Ivy Baker Costumes/Costume Designer
Phil Brandon Associate Producer
Dr. Hubert Clifford Musical Direction/Supervision
W. Percy Day Special Effects
Graham Greene Screenwriter
Oswald Hafenrichter Editor
Guy Hamilton Asst. Director
Dorrie Hamilton Makeup
John Hawkesworth Production Designer
Vincent Korda Production Designer, Set Decoration/Design
Georges Périnal Cinematographer
James Sawyer Production Designer, Set Decoration/Design
David O. Selznick Producer
Lesley Storm Screenwriter
William P. Templeton Screenwriter
Graham Greene Source Author
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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- The Fallen Idol
1. "Look After the Embassy, My Boy" [7:14]
2. Some Lies Are Kindness [4:16]
3. What a Fool the Man Is [10:10]
4. "You Can Trust Me, Baines" [5:50]
5. "They Gave It to Me!" [3:45]
6. A Day at the Zoo [7:02]
7. "My Macgregor" [:38]
8. "What Are You up To?" [7:02]
9. "Picking up Kids Now?" [6:40]
10. Death Is Ugly Business [4:18]
11. No, No, No, No [12:37]
12. No Evidence [9:46]
13. We Make One Another [7:50]
14. Color Bars [8:28]
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Menu

Disc #1 -- The Fallen Idol
   Play the Movie
   Chapters
   Supplements
      A Sense of Carol Reed
         Play
      Illustrated Filmography
      Press Book
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 2 )
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    Posted June 30, 2010

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    Posted February 19, 2010

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