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"Some lies are just kindness."

  • Jul 20, 2011
  • by
The "idol" is Baines (Ralph Richardson), the butler in the French embassy in London and the ambassador's little son, Philippe (Bobby Henrey), is the one who loves and worships him.  Baines is devoted to the boy and never tires of spending time him, regaling him with tall tales that Philippe believes, of course.  One day, Baines asks Philippe to keep a big secret from the hateful Mrs. Baines and this secret eventually changes all of their lives.
This wonderful movie was made in 1848 and was directed by Carol Reed.  Richardson is flawless and little Bobby Henrey gives one of the very best child performances ever.  He is completely natural, a real boy who dotes on his pet snake and would do anything for Baines, and acts in both English and French.  The story is a domestic drama turned homicide investigation and it kept me on the edge of my seat.  Heartily recommended.

Henrey and Richardson are great together.

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July 20, 2011
Try The Browning Version. Different in plot but the same understated tone. Maybe Michael Redgrave's best movie performance. I'll post mine shortly
More The Fallen Idol reviews
review by . June 26, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
A magnificent film, directed by Carol Reed and written by Graham Greene
Phillipe, the 8-year-old son of the ambassador, bored and lonely, has been left in the charge of Baines, the embassy butler, and his wife. The ambassador has gone to bring back his wife, who has been ill for several months. Phillipe (Bobby Henrey) idolizes Baines (Ralph Richardson), who talks to him, tells him stories, takes him for walks and pays attention to him. Baines' wife (Sonia Dresdel), however, is a shrew. She has little patience for Phillipe. She runs the housekeeping side of the embassy …
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The Fallen Idol (film)
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The Fallen Idol
Theatrical poster Directed by Carol Reed Produced by Carol Reed
Philip Brandon (associate producer) Written by Graham Greene (screenplay & story)
additional dialogue:
Lesley Storm
William Templeton Starring Ralph Richardson
Bobby Henrey
Michèle Morgan
Denis O'Dea Music by William Alwyn Cinematography Georges Périnal Editing by Oswald Hafenrichter Studio London Film Productions Distributed by British Lion Film Corporation (UK)
Selznick Releasing Organization (USA) Release date(s) 30 September 1948 (UK)
15 November 1949 (NYC)
1954 (USA, re-release) Running time 95 min Country United Kingdom Language English

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 Direction and Best Adapted Screenplay, and won the BAFTA Award for Best British Film.

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[edit] Plot

The film is told through the naive eyes of a diplomat's young son, Phillipe, who idolises his best friend, the diplomat's butler Baines. Baines has constructed a heroic persona, full of exotic adventures, that fascinates the boy. In reality, the servant is stuck in a loveless marriage, while dreaming of happiness with a younger woman (whom he describes to Phillipe as his niece). After ...

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