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  1. #21
    Senior Member Country: United States torinfan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by darrenburnfan View Post
    Excellent screen captures there, torinfan. How quaint the police uniforms looked in the 1940s compared with today.
    Thank you Darrenburnfan and yes, I too like the older style police uniforms that Torin looks so good in.

  2. #22
    Senior Member Country: Great Britain Mark O's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by darrenburnfan View Post
    Excellent screen captures there, torinfan. How quaint the police uniforms looked in the 1940s compared with today.
    They most certainly do David, funnily enough I was standing behind a Policeman in the local Co-op (the Police station is next door, he popped out for teabags) a few hours ago and I was looking at all the paraphernalia they have to carry these days, a waistband completely full with handcuffs sticking out and many other bits and bobs, stuff on the shoulder too, I see Torin in the pics has a waistband too, but not so cluttered as they are today.

    This is the sort of film genre I love, late 40's/50's crime thriller dramas that keep me gripped, plenty of locations as well, hopefully the DVD will arrive shortly and I'll watch it on a rest day afternoon next week and give you my view.

  3. #23
    Senior Member Country: England darrenburnfan's Avatar
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    I'm sure you'll find it's one of those films that you want to see more than once when you've once seen it, Mark. Back in 1948 / 1949, audiences outside cinemas were queueing up around the block to see this film. It was a big hit in its day. Below, some more photos from it.

    FROM THE TOP: Sir Ralph Richardson as Baines studio publicity portrait; Sir Ralph; Bobby Henrey and MacGregor in the kitchen; Hide and Seek at the embassy; Flight through the streets; Bobby Henrey gets last minute instructions from Carol Reed before a take; Carol talking to Bobby as the boy has his hair prepared before a take and some 1948 publicity for the film.














    Last edited by darrenburnfan; 06-02-12 at 08:20 PM.

  4. #24
    Senior Member Country: UK CaptainWaggett's Avatar
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  5. #25
    Senior Member Country: England darrenburnfan's Avatar
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    Thanks for that, Captain. I've never seen it before. It seems to be from an old film annual. I know the information in it, though. The book they refer to was A Village in Piccadilly, written by Bobby's parents and it featured a photo of Bobby on the front of the dust jacket and as a full page photo plate inside. Sir Alexander Korda showed it to Carol Reed and at once Carol knew that he'd found his Phillipe for the film, which at that stage was tentatively titled The Lost Illusion and the rest is history.

  6. #26
    Senior Member Country: Great Britain Mark O's Avatar
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    On post 23, the fouth pic up from bottom, does anyone recognise the cobbled street area?

    Has a look of East end Docklands about it, probably long demolished and redeveloped now.

  7. #27
    Senior Member Country: England darrenburnfan's Avatar
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    It's Barrack Yard in Belgravia. All the location shooting for the film was done around Belgravia and at London Zoo. Then and Now shots can be seen by going onto the Reel Streets website. For some reason, I'm not able to paste in the link, so you'll have to google Reel Streets The Fallen Idol. There are two pages of photos on there.
    Last edited by darrenburnfan; 07-02-12 at 10:09 AM.

  8. #28
    Senior Member Country: Great Britain Mark O's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by darrenburnfan View Post
    It's Barrack Yard in Belgravia. All the location shooting for the film was done around Belgravia and at London Zoo. Then and Now shots can be seen by going onto the Reel Streets website. For some reason, I'm not able to paste in the link, so you'll have to google Reel Streets The Fallen Idol. There are two pages of photos on there.

    Well I never, there was me thinking it was somewhere like Wapping, but no, it's posh Belgravia, still there as well, thanks for telling me about Reel streets David, I like to walk places where favourite films of mine have been shot!

  9. #29
    Senior Member Country: England darrenburnfan's Avatar
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    Just arrived from an eBay seller in America, this very hard to find 8 x 10 glossy studio portrait of Bobby Henrey as Phillipe taken in 1947 when he was eight years old. A lot of handling wear on the photo, but that reflects its low price of just over �6. I hope one day to come across a copy of this in better condition.



  10. #30
    Senior Member Country: Great Britain Mark O's Avatar
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    Can't say I've heard of Bobby before, though it's not surprising as he only made two films, then emigrated to the USA to be an Accountant, anything been heard from him in adult life at all?

    Bobby Henrey - IMDb

  11. #31
    Senior Member Country: England darrenburnfan's Avatar
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    He's retired now and will be 73 this year and is currently a chaplain based at a church in Greenwich, Connecticut. When the film was re-released in America in 2006 and premiered at a New York cinema, Bobby was a guest at the screening and after the film, he did a question and answer session with the audience. This was released as an audio podcast and there was a link to it on the IMDb on the Bobby Henrey message board, but I've just checked the link and it doesn't work any more. Luckily, I saved the podcast to a CD while it was there. Robert Henrey, as he's known now, has by now completely lost the French accent he had as a child.
    Last edited by darrenburnfan; 07-02-12 at 12:25 PM.

  12. #32
    Senior Member Country: England darrenburnfan's Avatar
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    I recently found a government website that converts British currency from any year into its modern equivalent taking inflation into account.

    In 1948, THE FALLEN IDOL cost �400,000 pounds to make. In modern day money, that would now be a staggering �10,380,000 pounds.

    Bobby Henrey was paid �5,000 for his performance. In modern day money, that would now be �129,750.

    Bobby signed a contract for �30,000 to make three more pictures for London Films between 1948 and 1951. In modern day money, that would now be �778,500 pounds (or well over a million dollars!)

    Interesting, isn't it?

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    SOME BACKGROUND DETAIL

    Summer, 1947. For casting on the film, Carol Reed wanted Ralph Richardson, who was under contract to Alexander Korda, to play the butler Baines and he persuaded Korda to recruit Mich�le Morgan, the French actress, as Julie the girlfriend, when Korda was in Hollywood. Sonia Dresdel was to play Mrs. Baines.

    Everything hinged, however, on finding a suitable child actor to play the central role. A boy was finally found—and in the most unlikely of places: through his picture on the cover of a book, A Village in Piccadilly, written by his father, Robert Henrey, who lived in Hertford Street, Mayfair, near to where Carol and [his wife] Diana had lived when they were first married. Henrey's trilogy of books about the new London life enjoyed by French refugees from Nazism, based upon his and his wife's experiences, had been a popular success. On the cover of A Village in Piccadilly, Henrey had placed a photograph of his young son, Bobby.

    The suggestion that Bobby Henrey would be right for The Fallen Idol came from Bill O'Brien, production executive at London Films, although credit was later attributed to Korda himself. O’Brien wrote to Madeleine Henrey, asking whether her son would be available for a screen test. She was afraid the attention of so many adults on the set would spoil him; her husband, however, thought it might add to his character. However, the boy was holidaying with his maternal grandmother in Normandy at the time and, as a typical piece of Korda excitement, he was flown from Deauville to London and back for the initial screen test.

    Reed was delighted. The boy was handsome and intelligent, spoke English with a hint of a French accent and, as an only child in a family of writers living in a small flat in central London, got on well and naturally with adults. Reed's only remark was that the boy had a black nail, caused by a hammer. He told the mother: "Don't let him lose his accent. Don't let him play with any more hammers. And, whatever you do, don't let him grow any bigger." Madeleine Henrey agreed to allow her son to become a film actor on condition that she could be present during the filming and supervise his work personally. A governess was appointed to look after the boy. Bobby Henrey was paid �1,000 free of income tax, and if the film was not finished after ten weeks he was to be paid at the rate of �100 a week. As filming went on for many months, he eventually earned a total of �5,000.

    Filming began in September, 1947, at a house representing the French embassy at the northeast of Belgrave Square owned by the British Red Cross and St. John organization, who were happy to have the outside of the building painted and all the windows repaired. Other location filming was kept close to the house, with scenes shot in Kinnerton Street and Belgrave Square Mews, and there were also scenes in London Zoo. The cast was small and highly proficient. In the smaller parts were Geoffrey Keen, Jack Hawkins, Dandy Nichols, Bernard Lee, Torin Thatcher and Dora Bryan as a tart. Graham Greene absented himself from the set and two writers, Lesley Storm and William Templeton, were hired for "additional dialogue."

    Reed turned to Georges P�rinal, Robert Krasker's mentor, for the photography. He was a Korda favorite and had shot for him the highly atmospheric The Private Life of Henry Vlll and Rembrandt. He was an expert in working with Technicolor, as he showed for Michael Powell in The Thief of Bagdad and The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp, although here he would be working in black & white. Reed repeatedly tried P�rinal's patience, demanding shots which the cinematographer thought impossible. He told Reed: "You are crazy. You cannot photograph that. It is impossible," to which Reed replied: "Yes, yes, yes, yes. Impossible. Now, Georges, are you ready?" As in Odd Man Out, Reed paid particular attention to the sound, concentrating on the boy's view of events by muffling much of what the adults said as if it were barely overheard.

    What was evident from the very first scene to be filmed, in which Bobby Henrey runs across the road in Belgrave Square, dodging the traffic, was the extraordinary relationship which quickly developed between Reed and the young boy. Reed revealed his difficulty: "A child of eight can't act. I wasn't looking for an exhibitionist. Adults have habitual features and defenses. A good actor must take something away, lose a part of himself before he can create a role. But with the right sort of child such as Bobby, there is nothing in the way. There is absolutely no resistance. He will do everything you tell him.' Adults were too inhibited, even about the way they stood. "Adults are controlled, they hold their arms and legs still, but if a boy is upset he twiddles a string, arches his back, twists his legs."

    Reed's model for Philippe, the boy in the film, was, of course, Bobby Henrey himself. As Reed explained: "I had planned certain scenes where Bobby would lean over the bannisters, but very soon I noticed that when left to himself he was always getting into the most graceful positions, curling up his hands, and this was so much more effective than anything I had imagined, so very much more natural, that I changed the scenes entirely to conform with his mannerisms. A director should plan in advance how a scene is to be played, but he should always be ready to put the camera here instead of there, and change everything at the last moment if he comes across a better way of doing it. That is why I never ceased watching Bobby when we were on location in Belgrave Square. It was my business to make him do on the screen what he did, without knowing it, in real life. When I had that miles-away look in my eyes, I was watching how he walked, and all his ways of laughing, and crossing the street. With children, it is much the same as with grown-ups. To be any good to a director, an actor or an actress must either be wonderful, or know absolutely nothing about acting. A little knowledge—that's what is bad!"

    Reed discovered that to get Bobby to act he must play the part himself and get the boy to imitate him. This coaching on top of the normal director's duties meant that Reed was working sixteen hours a day, constantly talking and living on a diet of studio sandwiches. It was little wonder that before long Reed had caught laryngitis and lost his voice. He would run up and down the massive central staircase in Vincent Korda’s magnificent set of the embassy entrance hall at Shepperton Studios, then watch the boy do the same until the gestures were exactly as Reed wished. As Richardson, at six foot three, towered above the boy, all shots of Felipe walking alongside Baines were taken from the level of the butler's waist down. Reed himself was wearing the butler's trousers, and gave instructions to Bobby from out of the camera's sight.

    The only disagreement Reed and Henrey's mother had on the set was over a haircut. A scene with the boy running up the staircase was half complete on a Friday evening when the crew broke up, intending to resume where they had left off after the weekend. The next Monday Bobby arrived on the set, having been taken for a haircut by his mother. The people in the continuity department were horrified; between one stair and another the boy would appear to have lost two inches of hair. Shooting the scene would have to be abandoned until a solution was found and the delay would cost a great deal of money. The makeup department tried a number of absurd remedies, including sticking blond stage hair onto Bobby's own. Reed was angry for the first time. "It's the most expensive haircut in the world. Thousands of pounds! That's what it will cost! He can't have his hair cut between two steps climbing the stairs!" Reed's only course of action was to rearrange the shooting schedule and postpone filming on the stairs till after the boy's hair had grown.
    Last edited by darrenburnfan; 07-02-12 at 11:45 PM.

  13. #33
    Senior Member Country: United States torinfan's Avatar
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    Greenwich, CT is a very affluent suburb and one of the most expensive to live in the entire nation - glad he found happiness with a post-acting career and family.

  14. #34
    Senior Member Country: England darrenburnfan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by torinfan View Post
    Greenwich, CT is a very affluent suburb and one of the most expensive to live in the entire nation - glad he found happiness with a post-acting career and family.
    Yes, it's a very posh area where they aren't short of a dollar or two. Robert Henrey is now a Deacon at the St Catherine of Siena Roman Catholic Parish Church at 4, Riverside Avenue, Riverside, Connecticut, CT 06878. Here is a link to the church website. If you click on Staff Profiles on the left column, you can see see a small modern photo of Bobby as he looks now and if you click on the photo, you can read something about him...although oddly, there is no mention of his short, but very famous career as a child star.

    http://www.stcath.org/

    Such a pity that the staff photos are so small and in such low resolution that they can't be enlarged.
    Last edited by darrenburnfan; 08-02-12 at 10:29 AM.

  15. #35
    Senior Member Country: England darrenburnfan's Avatar
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    This excellent CD is available that contains, among others, twenty minutes of music from William Alwyn’s wonderful score for The Fallen Idol, newly recorded in stereo in 1993 by The London Symphony Orchestra conducted by Richard Hickox.



    In 1948, this book, A Film Star in Belgrave Square, was released. It was written by Bobby Henrey’s mother, Madeleine, under her husband’s name and documented the making of The Fallen Idol and Bobby’s role in it. The book contained many marvelous photos taken during the production of the film (some of which I have uploaded on this thread) and loads of information of great interest to anyone who was a fan of the film and wanted to know how it had been made. One interesting snippet of information among many was that Bobby became great friends with actor David Niven, who was then making the Technicolor film Bonnie Prince Charlie on an adjoining sound stage at Shepperton Studios and, on the rare occasions when he wasn’t needed on the set of The Fallen Idol, Bobby would go across to watch David making his film.




    In November, 1948, Bobby was flown over to Paris to record his part in French for the French release of The Fallen Idol. He was back in England on Monday, November 29th, 1948, where he presented a bouquet of orchids that he had put together himself, to the Queen at the Royal Command Film Performance of Scott of the Antarctic at the Empire, Leicester Square, London. He got to shake hands with the Queen as well and looked as pleased as Punch. Newsreels of him doing this can be found on the Movietone and Pathe News websites.





    Robert (Bobby) Henrey, on the left of the photo with his wife Lisette, at a film festival in March, 2007.
    Last edited by darrenburnfan; 08-02-12 at 04:06 PM.

  16. #36
    Senior Member Country: United States torinfan's Avatar
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    Are there many photos of Torin in that book, "A Film Star in Belgrave Square"?

  17. #37
    Senior Member Country: England darrenburnfan's Avatar
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    Torin is mentioned in the book, but there are no photos of him. There are photos of the four main stars, Ralph; Michelle, Sonia and Bobby and many photos of Carol Reed and the film crew and various carpenters, electricians, continuity girls and the clapper boy, ect.

  18. #38
    Senior Member Country: England darrenburnfan's Avatar
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    Bobby Henrey coming down the magnificent marble staircase on Vincent Korda�s wonderful embassy set at Shepperton Studios in 1947.



    Bobby Henrey; Carol Reed and Assistant Director Guy Hamilton on the set at Shepperton Studios in 1947.



    Carol Reed directs Bobby Henrey before a take on the kitchen set at Shepperton Studios in 1947.



    Studio technicians at Shepperton in 1947 build a model fort for Bobby Henrey (centre). It�s highly likely that, 65 years on, most, if not all of these men, have now passed on.



    Clapper Boy Ian Stevens before a take at Shepperton Studios on Friday, October 31st, 1947. Note the working title The Lost Illusion.



    Cinematographer Georges Perinal studying Vincent Korda�s vast embassy set at Shepperton Studios.



    Bobby Henrey; Michele Morgan and Sir Ralph Richardson on location in the lion house at London Zoo in 1947
    .

  19. #39
    Senior Member Country: United States torinfan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by darrenburnfan View Post
    Torin is mentioned in the book, but there are no photos of him. There are photos of the four main stars, Ralph; Michelle, Sonia and Bobby and many photos of Carol Reed and the film crew and various carpenters, electricians, continuity girls and the clapper boy, ect.
    Thank you Darrenburnfan, if it had photos of him in it I would seek out a copy. But I'll save the $ for another of his DVD's. :)

  20. #40
    Senior Member Country: England darrenburnfan's Avatar
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    THE PUB THAT'S STILL THERE

    The Star Tavern pub in Belgrave Mews West, Belgravia, London, SW1, that is featured in The Fallen Idol as the pub Bobby Henrey as Phillipe runs into in search of Baines, is still there, nearly 65 years later. So are the bars outside the pub that Phillipe swings under after the landlord has told him that he's not allowed in there and he leaves the pub.





    Last edited by darrenburnfan; 10-02-12 at 03:42 PM.

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