Elegantly balancing suspense and farce, Carol Reed and Graham Greene’s tale of the fraught relationship between a boy and the beloved butler he suspects of murder is a delightfully macabre thriller of the first order and a visually and verbally dazzling knockout.
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It's no wonder that kids get messed up. All the mixed messages. It's so hard to interpret. The kid is not any more annoying that your normal precocious kid. You have to give it to Carol Reed for the marvelous job he did with Bobby Henrey, because he was a horrible actor in real life. It was some very careful editing and huge amounts of patience that got him to look so good. Big props to Ralph, of course.
"Must they be white?" The purity of youth. A film romantically devoted to a single point of view. A master of mechanics, design, and cinematic space. Although not the best editor, Carol Reed's consciousness is one close to my heart and his films continue to warm my soul. A deeply personal movie for me... "I'm only going because it's not possible to stay."
A fine, compelling film. Escalating gradually, a remarkable tension grows, broken by flashes of humor. This film is worth seeking out for the story craft, the film craft, the performances, and simply to enjoy a well-told story.
A young boy is the main character of a film with an Adult Certificate given by the British censors!
The impressionable boy keeps the viewer wondering how the story will end.
Who is the screenplay writer? The novelist Graham Greene. and Greene never lets you down.
Director Sir Carol Reed went on to win honours for another boy centered film two decades later---"Oliver!"