The Fallen Idol (re-release) Image
Metascore
88

Universal acclaim - based on 12 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.8

Universal acclaim- based on 4 Ratings

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  • Starring: ,
  • Summary: Adapted from Graham Greene's story "The Basement Room" this 1948 film is told from the perspective of a child.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 12
  2. Negative: 0 out of 12
  1. Of all the movies that try to take us into the mind and viewpoint of a child, Carol Reed's 1948 The Fallen Idol, adapted by Graham Greene from his short story, is one of the most ingenious.
  2. 100
    One of the great movies about childhood innocence accidentally violated by adults...Reed, an often inconsistent filmmaker, handles the brutal mechanics of the plot superbly, with the marbled interiors of the embassy contrasting sharply with his almost neo-realist outdoor shots of postwar London.
  3. Cinema does not get much better than this.
  4. 90
    The Fallen Idol has been overshadowed by the noir comedy, giddy style, and Cold War thematics of Reed and Greene's subsequent sensation "The Third Man," but (in similarly dealing with the nature of betrayal) The Fallen Idol is actually a superior psychological drama.
  5. 90
    This is a fine example of British commercial filmmaking at its highest level of craftsmanship.
  6. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    88
    Formally, the movie's a lasting pleasure: Reed's incisive direction; Greene's easy yet weighted dialogue; the farseeing deep-focus photography of Georges Perinal; Vincent Korda's luxuriant sets.
  7. 50
    Graham Greene's screenplay is centered on the pivotal moment when a child first discovers sin, but the boy's perspective is neglected in favor of facile suspense structures and a thuddingly conventional whodunit finale.

See all 12 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 3
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 3
  3. Negative: 0 out of 3
  1. DQSlotkins
    Apr 15, 2006
    10
    Another classic thiller from Carol Reed, director of The Third Man and Odd Man Out. I've been loving and waiting for this one to be released on DVD. Amazing film! Expand
  2. JimW.
    Jun 19, 2006
    9
    Excellent performance by Richardson, tight script & editing. Release print here in Atlanta has soundtrack problems that sometimes made it difficult to understand dialogue. Expand
  3. RogerB.
    Jul 16, 2006
    6
    Dull, slow moving movie. Can't believe, even a young kid would be as nieve and dumb as this kid. No one in the movie was exciting. Baines was a dullered. His girl friend was unbelievable. She was too young and pretty to be taken with the dullered Baines. The plot turned out more slapstick then suspenseful; but without the laughter. Expand