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The Fallen Idol
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The Fallen Idol

1948
Drama
Suspense/Thriller
1h 35m
Philippe, a diplomat's son and good friend of Baines the butler, is confused by the complexities and evasions of adult life. He tries to keep secrets but ends up telling them. He lies to protect his friends, even though he knows he should tell the truth. He resolves not to listen to adults' stories any more when Baines is suspected of murdering his wife and no-one will listen to Philippe's vital information. (imdb)
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The Fallen Idol

1948
Drama
Suspense/Thriller
1h 35m
Your probable score
Avg Percentile 66.41% from 459 total ratings

Ratings & Reviews

(459)
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Rated 27 Feb 2007
67
35th
There are some wonderfully shot sequences (especially the hide and seek game) and a few great, creepy & tense moments. While I thought the examination of truth, lies, and consequence was fine, the film relied too much on foolish misunderstandings that could have been easily resolved. Furthermore, the towheaded, bratty, lisping child actor is at times virtually intolerable.
Rated 10 Mar 2009
4
70th
If nothing else, The Fallen Idol would quell any doubts that Carol Reed has a fantastic eye, and that Orson Welles wasn't some camera puppet master on The Third Man. But it's a very entertaining and suspenseful movie as well. The kid is a bit annoying at times, but no worse than a thousand other child actors, and the movie does a good job of making you empathize with his hero worship.
Rated 11 Dec 2012
46
21st
This film definitely has some intriguing ideas and a few great scenes, but I just thought that Philippe was a terrible, irritating character. Since most of the movie is seen from his point of view, it was all pretty much ruined for me. The ending is awful, too.
Rated 21 Jun 2010
90
97th
Flawless thriller. The scene with the dart is one of many suspense highlights. In a highly original way, the perspective of young Phillippe is kept throughout. There's something uncanny about the way Reed manages to tell Greene's story so that we get to share Phillippe's experiences, his new-found understanding of secrets and lies. It, along with his dawning realization that he isn't part of the adult loop, becomes key in a rather simple plot and thus the film becomes more complex and universal.
Rated 08 Jun 2008
72
41st
Well-written by Graham Greene, with building suspense and a few good jokes. Also some great camerawork, and the usual Carol Reed scenes of dark European roads with streetlamps illuminating the wet cobblestones. The problem is that the film centers around a young boy, and the young boy is highly irritating. This is the reason I often don't like movies about children, they're usually too obnoxious or precocious. The child actor wasn't even that bad, I just didn't like the character that much.
Rated 04 Dec 2018
6
43rd
Found it hard to empathise with any of the characters they all seemed cold, dislikeable or irritating but it did create a period atmosphere.
Rated 05 Feb 2012
85
78th
Fascinating tale about a butler's manipulative yet caring relationship with his employer's son. Good writing and acting.
Rated 11 Aug 2011
75
83rd
Tight, well-written script with a lot of memorable dialogue. I actually think the kid does a fine job!
Rated 23 Jul 2013
73
71st
The most annoying kid ever. I'd wanna kill him at final sequence.
Rated 27 Aug 2013
66
28th
çocuk, küçük bey (büyükelçinin oglu), yasak ask, karisindan ayrilmak istemek, evi basmak, merdivenden düserek ölmek, sahit, yalan, yalan ifade,
Rated 16 Oct 2013
89
97th
89.000
Rated 21 Sep 2014
77
49th
Am I the only person not overly bothered by the kid? Sure, he's not exactly the most magnetic screen presence but for a film that's entirely from this boy's perspective he manages to be believable enough. I don't think this is a first rate thriller or anything but it's an interesting and effective film about the world a child lives in and especially all the confusion, fear and misunderstanding that's a part of it.
Rated 23 Mar 2015
75
65th
Baines! Baines! Baines! Baines! Baines! Baines! Baines! Baines! shutupshutupshutupshutup CAROL ANNE CAROL ANNE CAROL ANNE
Rated 26 Jul 2017
85
86th
A fascinating film about the dangerous nature of truth vs. lies. I felt that the ending was a little weak, but every performance was excellent, and the story's suspense was as good as any Hitchcock.
Rated 25 Mar 2018
84
90th
A surprisingly good child role is in the centre of this tense thriller. Really well written and directed.
Rated 08 Dec 2018
80
79th
Overal a good thriller that has an extra dimension because most of the story is told from the kid's POV. I didn't mind him for most of the movie, but he does get really annoying at the end. The suspense building in some scene's (the hide-and-seek game) is Hitchcock level good.
Rated 09 Jan 2019
80
77th
If ever there was an argument in favor of smacking a kid, I give you Philippe - the most annoying child on film.
Rated 11 Mar 2019
88
58th
88.00
Rated 19 Sep 2021
70
96th
There are definitely layers here and a interesting approach from Carol Reed. Does take a while to establish things, but that's part of the brilliance to see how this kid responds while adults do adult stuff. I couldn't help but feel the investigative portion could have added more of a twist. But still, the viewpoint of a kid makes if so different to other takes with similar themes.
Rated 02 Dec 2011
63
26th
#743
Rated 14 Oct 2011
95
93rd
favorite line: macgregor, death by mrs. baines... favorite scene: the paper airplane/note.... a wonderful story about a boy and his idol, the lies we tell, the secrets we keep and the consequences that result........
Rated 16 Jul 2011
65
61st
I bet it was exiting at the time. Not so exiting today, yet, you can't really argue a classic.
Rated 07 Apr 2011
79
23rd
I enjoyed this, but i felt the ending was a little rushed. A very lovable performance from Ralph Richardson though, even though he plays the character we were meant to dislike (and pity so...). Very funny scene at the police station
Rated 02 Feb 2011
83
90th
Almost unbearably tense at times.
Rated 06 Nov 2010
86
84th
While the kid is rather annoying, especially towards the end, the rest of the film is more than good enough to make up for it. Solid acting, strong visuals and sharp writing make this a really enjoyable film that repeatedly find ways to surprise.
Rated 20 Sep 2010
87
98th
Just to respond to some of the people who complain about Bobby Henrey's performance. It's a brilliant piece of casting. Henrey's character, after all, is an innocent who doesn't understand what's happening around him.. This was who Henrey was in real life, a ten year old of limited attention span, with no training, who could not even be said to be acting. He gives an utterly authentic portrait of childhood no trained child actor could ever give.
Rated 28 Jun 2010
78
79th
An enjoyable, well-written film with a few flaws. Showing the exposition through the eyes of Phile worked very well. Ralph Richardson is particularly enjoyable too. The sappy ending made me think considerably less of this film, though. I found the child actor extremely difficult to understand, also; in fact I had to turn subtitles on. It also sucks that the interest in moral complexity does not apply to the female characters, who are respectively totally hateable and perfectly kind.
Rated 25 Jan 2010
85
66th
An interesting thriller, seen mostly from the view of a child.
Rated 15 Jan 2010
66
32nd
681
Rated 15 Jun 2009
5
81st
This certainly does capture the confusion and manipulation you feel as a child. When you add that up with photography of this level and an excellent role from Ralph Richardson [the rest of the cast working very well] - I can't be disappointed. Unfortunately, the kid here is so useless - when the turning point comes he's the only flaw to be found as he rears that annoying voice.
Rated 11 Feb 2009
3
45th
This could've been a really great movie, but it ends up being barely passable. A pretty great concept, it's just too bad most of the characters are bland and forgettable. The child actor isn't as annoying as some say, but he's certainly not fit to lead the movie. Mrs. Baines is really the only exceptional characterization. The photography is amazing though.
Rated 19 Dec 2008
66
32nd
671
Rated 02 Mar 2008
67
47th
# 666

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