Release date30 September 1948 (1948-09-30) Based on"The Basement Room"
by Graham Greene WriterGraham Greene (story), Graham Greene (screenplay), Lesley Storm (additional dialogue), William Templeton (additional dialogue) ScreenplayGraham Greene, William Templeton, Lesley Storm CastRalph Richardson (Baines), Michèle Morgan (Julie), Sonia Dresdel (Mrs. Baines), Bobby Henrey (Phillipe), Denis O'Dea (Inspector Crowe), Jack Hawkins (Detective Ames) Similar moviesThe Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, Mission: Impossible, Survivor, Slumdog Millionaire, Toy Story, Source Code
TaglineThe suspense is almost unbearable....
The fallen idol 1948 film noir of the week
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 film is told through the naive eyes of a diplomat's young son, Philippe, who idolizes 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-handed, killing a man in self-defense, 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, Belgrave Square, 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.
The film 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