The Fallen Idol

  • 1948
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Thriller

Told from a child's point of view, THE FALLEN IDOL is a subdued thriller set in a foreign embassy in London. The ambassador departs and leaves his precocious, imaginative son, Felipe (Henrey), with the butler, Baines (Richardson), and Baines's wife (Dresdel). The boy idolizes the kindly, considerate Baines but dislikes the butler's shrewish, vicious wife....read more

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Told from a child's point of view, THE FALLEN IDOL is a subdued thriller set in a foreign embassy in London. The ambassador departs and leaves his precocious, imaginative son, Felipe (Henrey), with the butler, Baines (Richardson), and Baines's wife (Dresdel). The boy idolizes the kindly,

considerate Baines but dislikes the butler's shrewish, vicious wife. Baines and embassy typist Julie (Morgan) have been having an affair and Felipe overhears them agreeing to end the relationship. This information is later wheedled out of Felipe by Mrs. Baines, who then has a violent argument with

her husband. In her jealous rage, Mrs. Baines accidentally falls down a flight of stairs to her death. Her demise is heard but not wholly witnessed by the boy. When police begin a routine investigation, Felipe fears that his idol will be arrested.

Director Carol Reed skillfully blends elegant camera movement, expressive angles, stylized lighting, and sterling performances into a fascinating and suspenseful motion picture. Richardson is superb as the innocent butler. His tender treatment of the boy, his cultured bearing, and his gentlemanly

demeanor convey a supreme nobility that belies his working-class position. Henrey is even more exciting in his wonderful portrayal of a jittery and intelligent child. Reed's direction of Henrey gave him a reputation as a great director of children, which was further confirmed by the engaging

performances he drew from children in A KID FOR TWO FARTHINGS and OLIVER! THE FALLEN IDOL received a British Best Film award, and Reed was honored as Best Director by the New York Film Critics.

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  • Rating: NR
  • Review: Told from a child's point of view, THE FALLEN IDOL is a subdued thriller set in a foreign embassy in London. The ambassador departs and leaves his precocious, imaginative son, Felipe (Henrey), with the butler, Baines (Richardson), and Baines's wife (Dresde… (more)

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