The basic idea is strong and the tension between wife, husband and his lover is excellent, but the child actor was annoying to my eardrums and I would have liked to see his role heavily reduced. It would have been a far better film (for me) if he was put away in the childroom and forgotten by the investigators to the bitter end instead.
People tend to be soft over these kind of films, because they are old and they require to be taken into context. But "The Fallen Idol" is just a very convoluted noir, with a child actor that behaves in such an erratic way (and acts so poorly in doing so) none of the twists and turns end up being believable. Reed is also so obvious at pointing out hints and foreshadowing, the third act comes out very predictable.
The battle between what adults tell you, the things they don't tell you and the unpredictability and randomness of the world, which can be potentially remarkable when you are a kid trying to make sense of things. There is no flat character in this powerful drama/suspense directed by Carol Reed, and the confusedness of the situation makes us wish for the comfort of our mother's lap as much as the main character does.
(4/5) Para ser el año 48, Reed estaba tocando tòpicos que Hollywood tenìa vedados: la infidelidad abierta y la sexualidad fuera de una relaciòn. El control del encuadre pero desde el punto de vista de un niño peculiar le confieren al filme una fuerza inusitada. De paso, el guion no es condescendiente y por si fuera poco, le imprime toques de un humor negro para destacar, quizàs Green aportò mucho de ello
A well-told story, brilliantly filmed and acted. The crux of the story is in the title of the film: Mr. Baines is excellent at his job--and a father figure to Phillipe--but flawed in his private life. Bobby Henrey is playing an ambassador's son being raised by servants, and his acting is true to character. Reed is a master of small, wry, and telling moments such as when Rose tells Phillipe "I know your dad." Oh snap!