The Fallen Idol (film)
The Fallen Idol (also known as The Lost Illusion) is a 1948 film directed by Carol Reed and based on the short story "The Basement Room", by Graham Greene. The film was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Director (Carol Reed) and Best Adapted Screenplay (Graham Greene), and won the BAFTA Award for Best British Film.
|The Fallen Idol|
U.S. theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Carol Reed|
|Produced by||Carol Reed|
Philip Brandon (associate)
|Written by||William Templeton|
|Based on||"The Basement Room"|
by Graham Greene
|Music by||William Alwyn|
|Edited by||Oswald Hafenrichter|
|Box office||£215,823 (UK)|
The film is told through the naive eyes of a diplomat's young son, Philippe, who idolises his father's butler, Baines. Baines has invented a heroic persona to keep the boy entertained, and often tells him stories of his exotic and daring adventures in Africa and elsewhere, stories such as putting down a native uprising single-handedly, killing a man in self-defence, shooting lions and so on.
In reality, the butler has never been to Africa and is stuck in a loveless marriage, while dreaming of happiness with a younger woman (who he tells Philippe is his niece after the boy finds them together). After Baines has an argument with his betrayed wife, she accidentally falls from a landing to her death. However, Philippe believes that he has seen Baines murder her. The boy desperately and clumsily attempts to protect his hero when the police investigate, but his efforts only lead Baines deeper into trouble.
- Ralph Richardson as Baines
- Michèle Morgan as Julie
- Sonia Dresdel as Mrs. Baines
- Bobby Henrey as Philippe
- Denis O'Dea as Chief Inspector Crowe
- Jack Hawkins as Detective Ames
- Walter Fitzgerald as Dr. Fenton
- Dandy Nichols as Mrs. Patterson
- Joan Young as Mrs. Barrow
- Karel Stepanek as First Secretary
- Gerard Heinz as Ambassador
- Torin Thatcher as Police Constable
- James Hayter as Perry
- Geoffrey Keen as Detective Davis
- Bernard Lee as Inspector Hart, Special Branch
- John Ruddock as Dr. Wilson
- Hay Petrie as Clock Winder
- Dora Bryan as Rose
- George Woodbridge as Sergeant, Chelsea Police Station
The cameras began turning on the film on the bright, sunny morning of Wednesday, 17 September 1947, with the first location scene to be filmed being that of Bobby Henrey running across Belgrave Square in London.
The Fallen Idol marks the first notable film Carol Reed made at Grosvenor Crescent, Belgravia, in London as a filming location — the other being Reed's acclaimed movie Oliver!, filmed 20 years later at the same site. Coincidentally, it was a film featuring a similar seven-year-old precocious boy.
It was one of the most popular movies at the British box office in 1948.
The Fallen Idol was included at number 48 on Time Out magazine's list of the "100 best British films", which polled critics and members of the film industry. It was described as "one of the finest British films about children, about the ways they can be manipulated and betrayed, their loyalties misplaced and their emotions toyed with."
- Winner Best Picture of the Year – BAFTA
- Nominated Best Adapted Screenplay (Graham Greene), Best Director (Carol Reed) – Academy Awards
- Nominee Best Foreign Film – Golden Globes
- Winner Best Film – Bodil Awards (Denmark Film Critics Society)
- Selected One of Year's 10 Best Films – National Board of Review
- Winner Best Actor (Ralph Richardson) – National Board of Review
- Winner Best Screenplay (Graham Greene) – National Board of Review
- Winner Best Director (Carol Reed) – New York Film Critics Circle
- Nominated Best Picture & Best Actor (Ralph Richardson) – New York Film Critics Circle
- Winner Best Screenplay (Graham Greene) – Venice International Film Festival
- Nominee Grand International Award (Carol Reed) – Venice International Film Festival
- Vincent Porter, 'The Robert Clark Account', Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television, Vol 20 No 4, 2000 p486
- "Monthly Film Bulletin review". www.screenonline.org.uk.
- "THE STARRY WAY". The Courier-Mail. Brisbane: National Library of Australia. 8 January 1949. p. 2. Retrieved 11 July 2012.
- "100 Best British Films (numbers 41-50)". Time Out. Retrieved 26 January 2014.