The Fallen Idol (film)

The Fallen Idol
U.S. theatrical release poster
Directed byCarol Reed
Produced byCarol Reed
Philip Brandon (associate)
Written byWilliam Templeton
Lesley Storm
Graham Greene
Based on"The Basement Room"
by Graham Greene
StarringRalph Richardson
Bobby Henrey
Michèle Morgan
Denis O'Dea
Jack Hawkins
Music byWilliam Alwyn
CinematographyGeorges Périnal
Edited byOswald Hafenrichter
Distributed by
Release date
  • 30 September 1948 (1948-09-30)
Running time
95 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom
Box office£215,823 (UK)[1]

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 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-handed, 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.

Other Languages
Bahasa Indonesia: The Fallen Idol (film)
Lëtzebuergesch: The Fallen Idol
Bahasa Melayu: Filem The Fallen Idol
Nederlands: The Fallen Idol
日本語: 落ちた偶像
português: O Ídolo Caído
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: The Fallen Idol