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  1. #81
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    Wow!!! What a momento!!!
    Film Man.

  2. #82
    Senior Member Country: England darrenburnfan's Avatar
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    Yes, Film Man, I am over the moon with them. I'm sure that Sir Carol Reed and Sir Ralph Richardson would be proud of Bobby if they could see him now. He's really turned out alright as an adult, which is more than can be said for many former child stars. Someone I showed the photos to told me that they can still see Bobby the boy in Robert the man.

  3. #83
    Senior Member Country: England billy farmer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by darrenburnfan View Post
    [CENTER]BELOW: Two more digital photos (just arrived by email from America) of Robert (Bobby) Henrey and I together outside the Regal cinema,
    Tenbury Wells, Worcestershire, on the evening of Friday, September 6th, 2013, taken by his wife, Lisette.
    Darrenburnfan, two more great photographs (featuring you with Bobby Henrey), September 6th 2013 will be a date that you will never forget.

  4. #84
    Senior Member Country: England darrenburnfan's Avatar
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    You're right, Billy. I'll remember that until my dying day. Even though I was very ill with car sickness on the way back from Tenbury Wells to Birmingham New Street station, it was worth all the trouble just to meet him and talk to him. And, of course, with photos to prove it, no one can say I'm telling a tall one, because the photos are proof that I really did meet him. Although sometimes I think that if it weren't for the photos, I'd be thinking it was all just a fabulous dream.

  5. #85
    Senior Member Country: Great Britain Mark O's Avatar
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    It's always great to meet an idol, nice pics David, it's nice to see you back posting, I've missed your posts about working at the Cinema's, hope you're going to stick around from now on..

  6. #86
    Senior Member Country: England darrenburnfan's Avatar
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    Thanks, Mark. Nice of you to say so.

  7. #87
    Senior Member Country: England darrenburnfan's Avatar
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    • I am uploading two production stills from The Fallen Idol that were uploaded very early on in this thread in vertically cropped versions. The uploads below are the same photos, but with more image area on them. TOP: Sir Ralph Richardson as Baines being filmed walking across Belgrave Square in September, 1947. Carol Reed can be seen squatting at the side of the camera. BOTTOM: At Shepperton Studios in 1947, Carol Reed (centre) lines up the next shot, watched by Bobby Henrey (left) and assistant director Guy Hamilton (Right).





  8. #88
    Senior Member Country: England darrenburnfan's Avatar
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    Michele Morgan studies the script, watched by Carol Reed, while on location for The Fallen Idol in Belgrave Square, London, in September, 1947.


  9. #89
    Senior Member Country: England darrenburnfan's Avatar
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    BELOW: On the set of The Fallen Idol at Shepperton Studios in 1947, young star Bobby Henrey studies the script
    while watched from left to right by associate producer Phil Brandon; assistant director Guy Hamilton and director Carol Reed.





    BELOW: A scene from the film with Michele Morgan; Bobby Henrey and Jack Hawkins. In the background are Geoffrey Keen and Dennis O'Dea.

    Last edited by darrenburnfan; 08-10-13 at 09:10 PM.

  10. #90
    Senior Member Country: England darrenburnfan's Avatar
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    BELOW: Before a take on the scene where Phillipe finds that MacGregor is missing,
    Carol Reed directs Bobby Henrey, while Michele Morgan looks on.





    "The police would like a word with you, Phil", said Baines.



    As Phillipe backed slowly up the stairs, he found himself surrounded by the police.

  11. #91
    Senior Member Country: England darrenburnfan's Avatar
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    An error has occured. I tried to paste in some text, but it didn't work. I am working on a solution.
    Last edited by darrenburnfan; 12-10-13 at 02:53 PM.

  12. #92
    Senior Member Country: England darrenburnfan's Avatar
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    A tearful Phillipe being consoled by Baines after discovering that his beloved pet, MacGregor, has been killed by the hateful Mrs Baines:



    BAINES: “It’s just a bit of bad luck you’ve got to take”.

    PHILLIPE (sobbing): “She never really liked him. She said he was vermin”.

    BAINES: "Well, tomorrow, we’ll put up a little stone in the garden and we’ll write his name on it”.

    PHILLIPE (bitterly): “MacGregor…killed by Mrs Baines…and the date!”

    BAINES: “No, no, no, not that. Something like: ‘My MacGregor. Very lovely he was in his life’…and then the date.
    No, we’ll, we’ll just have MacGregor. That’ll be plenty. We’ll remember. How about a bite of supper? Then, we’ll play a game. Come on”.

    Superb dialogue, beautifully spoken.

  13. #93
    Senior Member Country: England darrenburnfan's Avatar
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    Below is a real oddity. The first page of a three page story adaptation of The Fallen Idol published in Picture Show magazine dated November 13th, 1948. What's odd about it is that either British Lion or London Films somehow managed to supply Picture Show with what appears to be an earlier draft of the screenplay where certain details are different to those in the completed film. For one thing, in this version, the story is set not in the French Embassy in London, but in the Spanish Embassy and Phillipe is here called Felipe and is the son of the Spanish ambassador. Also, Julie here is not a fair haired French girl, but a dark haired Spanish girl and so on. Conversely, the stills from the film that accompany the text are from the finished version of the film.



  14. #94
    Senior Member Country: England billy farmer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by darrenburnfan View Post
    [CENTER]Below is a real oddity. The first page of a three page story adaptation of The Fallen Idol published in Picture Show magazine dated November 13th, 1948.
    Darrenburnfan, interesting post, you have posted some great images on this page, i wonder if Bobby Henrey has read this Thread.

  15. #95
    Senior Member Country: England darrenburnfan's Avatar
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    I hope so, Billy. I doubt very much that even he has a copy of the above Picture Show magazine. It took me ages to track it down because film magazines from that far back are pretty rare now.

  16. #96
    Senior Member Country: England darrenburnfan's Avatar
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    LIFE magazine, December 13th, 1948.

    “A STAGGERING PERFORMANCE!”





    London critics are bowled over
    by young Bobby Henrey,
    an anglo-French boy whom
    patient direction has turned into
    Britain’s newest child star!

    By Francis Levison.

    LONDON: - London film critics were caught off their surly guard this fall by a small boy with an uneven walk,
    a misbegotten haircut and an odd foreign accent.

    "Bobby Henrey, one of the most endearing child studies ever given in the cinema".

    “An absolutely staggering performance by an eight year old!”

    “Ninety-four minutes of sheer enchantment!”

    “Bobby Henrey, the incarnation of the small boy we all hope we once were!”

    The occasion for these rave notices was the premiere of The Fallen Idol, a new opus from Sir Alexander Korda’s studios which had occurred with a minimum of advance fanfare. Nobody had any business to be quite so surprised, because the film was made by Carol Reed, who’s last, Odd Man Out, gave evidence of his growing into one of the world’s great cinema directors. It was quite reasonable to be astonished by Bobby Henrey, however, who was billed in small letters and had never been heard of before.

    Bobby Henrey, now nine years old, is the son of a good-looking anglo-French team of writers who commute between London and a farm in Normandy. He had never before acted in so much as a kindergarten pantomime and had not been known to perform a tap dance, sing in tune, or even recite a poem with distinction. This inexperienced boy plays the role of the ambassador’s son, left alone for a weekend in a great London embassy, in the care of the butler, Baines, played by Sir Ralph Richardson, whom he idolises, and Mrs Baines, whom he hates. The child becomes the uncomprehending pawn in the adult drama created by the butler’s romance with an embassy typist, Mrs Baines’ suspicious frenzies and her eventual hysterical fall down the embassy staircase. Phillipe thinks his idol, Baines, murdered his wife and lies in an effort to save him. He is young and lies badly and his lies embroil Baines in a serious murder charge. The part is a rare one for a child, because, although he appears on the scene continuously, either as player in, or witness to, the drama, he is not the focus of adult attention. The grown-ups pursue their own emotional ends with little thought of this intently observing boy and the effect of all this on him is a second and parallel story which only the audience comprehends. The genius of the film is the consistency of mood and suspense seriously heightened by flashes of first rate comedy. Throughout, the boy’s short-legged body is matched against adults who tower above him, against the vast, curving staircase of the embassy, which he must negotiate with effect and against perilous balconies and ledges of the great building.


    Bobby Henrey was born on June 26th, 1939, on his parents farm in France, during a thunderstorm. His father Robert, an English newspaper reporter, and his French-born mother, Madeleine, were busy producers of a stream of books under the name of Robert Henrey, mostly about their own adventures with Bobby. Returning to England in 1940, they lived through the blitz in London. After the war, Bobby commuted between the Normandy farm and the Piccadilly flat. Bobby’s film career began inadvertently in the July of 1947, when Carol Reed and Graham Greene, author of the script, were looking for a child to play Phillipe. A studio executive, seeing his photograph on the jacket of one of his parents’ books, wrote to the Henrey’s. By then, Bobby had gone back to the Normandy farm. His somewhat dubious parents were persuaded to permit Bobby to fly to London for a day to meet Reed. Reed liked him at once. He was particularly pleased with the liquid French accent. He sat down with the child for the first of many quiet talks. Reed never saw another child.


    Because the screen performance of this untrained child is faultless, the inevitable question arises: How did it happen? For those who were behind the scenes and saw the making of The Fallen Idol, there comes a definite reply. It’s the greatest Svengali act in the history of the theatre. Carol Reed crouched beside the child hour after hour, month after month. He created a separate world for himself and the child…and the vast superstructures of the cinema, the lights, cameras, actors, technicians, were shut out. Reed talked, cajoled, demonstrated, rehearsed, explained. Sometimes, he would rise from his knees and squirm, shuffle, gesticulate, in exact facsimile of a child. Reed had studied Bobby’s gestures, then selected appropriate ones and demonstrated them himself. The man, well over six feet, repeatedly waved his arms in boyish despair, curled himself over the embassy balcony in absorption, ran breathlessly up and down the great staircase. The boy followed, painstakingly perfecting the mimicry. Explains Reed: “What Bobby really was doing was copying me copying him”. He had Bobby rehearse every least gesture, repeat every brief speech anywhere from twenty to one hundred times. Bobby grew accustomed to the game of mime. When asked how he knew how to sob heart-brokenly over the death of a pet snake, Bobby exploded with brief indignation: “Well, he showed me…what’s the producer for?” Such extreme dependence on tutoring did not dismay Reed. It was exactly what he hoped for. He contends: “A child of eight can’t act. I wasn’t looking for an exhibitionist. Adults have habitual gestures and defences. 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”. Reed deliberately used the child’s body to express emotion. “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. Many of Bobby’s finest scenes show him from the back, beating his arms helplessly against his hips with consternation. Idly kicking a stone down the street, simply shuffling out of a room in humiliated despair (to the accompaniment of his voice, low and almost toneless, saying: ‘I don’t care’.”) Various devises were used to achieve natural expressiveness in Bobby. In the opening scenes, Bobby leans over the banister, his face supposedly warm with admiration as Baines struts in the lobby below him. Although Bobby understood that he liked Baines, he did not know how to show affection and his face remained cold. So Reed hired a magician, complete with props, jack-in-the-boxes and concealed rabbits and while Bobby, truly entranced, watched the show, the cameras caught on his face the rapt smile that starts off the film.


    No small credit, of course, must go to the sorcery of film-making. With a little boy of short memory and no histrionic training, Reed knew he would have to create a heavily cut film. In the finished version of 94 minutes duration, smooth as it seems to the uninitiated, there is the astonishing total of 1,040 separate splices. Although the audience thinks of Bobby as an integral part of the entire drama, actually, he plays most of his scenes alone. Sometimes, he is shown walking beside Baines. The coat and the pants of Baines, however, are Carol Reed’s. Says Reed: “With Ralph’s height and a little boy, I could only play them together in long shots. I usually stayed beside Bobby, so that when he watched me giving directions, he was automatically looking in the right direction”. Because every scene involved remembering a cue, expression, action, as well as words, the longest line Bobby was ever given to say without a cut made up a grand total of fourteen words. It was ‘Funny, isn’t it, Julie working at the embassy and all this time she was your niece’. ”


    By February, 1948, after the actors had finished their work, Reed embarked on endless weeks in the cutting rooms, studying strips of millions of little Bobby’s. Listening by the hour to record after record of the boy’s high voice. Selecting, cutting, discarding and slicing from the forest of trials. When asked afterwards if he could direct Bobby in the same story on the stage, Reed grinned in fine understatement: “I think it would be difficult”. Bobby presented the studio with all the trials of a child actor. Valuable minutes ticked away while he finished a game with the electricians. He was willing to try over and over again, but his concentration had an eight-year-old’s limits and he could not work for long at a stretch. Because he must fondle a little snake lovingly through scene after scene, there were many days lost in accustoming Bobby, as shy of snakes as the next fellow, to a whole series of them. Reed never lost his serene patience, although everybody else did. Even Ralph Richardson, a trouper ensured to the tribulations of dramatic production, was heard to expostulate in his dressing room one day: “I have a firm conviction that in my next film, Alex Korda will have me playing opposite a dog”.


    Bobby himself had a good time making the film. He particularly liked the action scenes where he could run, romp and negotiate the embassy staircase. The mysteries of set construction, the houses with false fronts and stairways with no landings, were a source of unending fascination. But he is stolidly unimpressed with the importance of Bobby Henrey, the star. A star, he defines non-commitedly. “Well, there are two kinds. One is up in the air and another makes films”.


    Because The Fallen Idol tells a sophisticated and terrible story of adultery, madness and violent death, everyone was concerned with how much of it the eight-year-old boy was to know…how it would affect him. The studio word went out that the secret of the plot had been kept from Bobby. Actually, in the early sequences on location, Reed merely told Bobby to run, to wave, to laugh. Gradually, just before each scene, Reed unfolded more of the story to the boy. Halfway through, Bobby was given the script to read. Bobby did not witness the filming of the adult drama, but he did see all the rushes. He has already seen the finished version at least five times. The legend of his ignorance naturally annoys Bobby. One day, he burst forth to a reporter: “They said I don’t know what it was about. That’s all fibs, you know. Carol explained everything”. Then, he twisted uncomfortably. “Please don’t ask me about that”. Then, reluctantly: “You see, I’m not supposed to understand, because of my age”. Bobby is quite able, in fact, to detail the whole plot. He begins: “The ambassador goes off for the weekend to get his wife who is in Switzerland. He leaves me to the butler, you see, Baines. Mr Ralph Richardson. I like Baines. I’m supposed to, anyway. One day, I’m in my nursery and he goes out for a walk”. Bobby grows a little tongue-tied when he comes to the role of the typist. “She was not his niece, but he called her that because he liked her and…you know. I’m not saying it very well, am I? Anyway, he says he must absolutely see her again. She said she was going away, as she couldn’t stand it anymore. It was because she liked Baines and…he was married and…it’s very hard to explain”
    .
    I’ll ring Scotland Yard

    The finer points of the film eluded Bobby. In one sequence, after observing adults quarreling hysterically, Phillipe runs from the embassy, obscurely terrified and out into the rainy streets at night. When asked why he ran, Bobby says: “I was supposed to be frightened, so I ran away”. But, he adds with boyish bravado, “I wouldn’t run really. I’d pick up the telephone and ring Scotland Yard”. Bobby has never been to school or acquired friends of his own age. His parents deal strictly with his manners and he is extremely polite and obedient. He will not accept so much as a gift of candy without parental permission. Never excluded from adult conversations, he has developed, rather like Phillipe of the film, a precocious half-understanding of adult affairs and is superficially acquainted with those mysteries usually designated as the facts of life. He possesses marked sweetness along with the self-containment of an only child. Although shy at first with strangers, he can easily be persuaded into animated conversation. At times, boyishness breaks through the reserve and he will examine a new automobile with an eager stream of “What is that for?” But, if asked bluntly whether he likes machines, the defence slips into place and he replies with dutiful repetition of what his parents will tell you he thinks. “No, I don’t like cars. They’re too modern”.

    Because he lives in London and not Hollywood, Bobby’s duties as a celebrity have not been arduous. His sphere remains the simple Normandy farm and the little flat in Piccadilly. Meanwhile, queues are forming before cinema houses all over England to see The Fallen Idol, which will be shown presently in the U.S. under the title The Eye Witness and critical praise resounds around Bobby’s very fair, triumphant and rather impervious head. Guy Ramsey in the Daily Mail expressed for thousands a tribute not only to Bobby, but unconsciously to Carol Reed as well. “I am on my knees before little Bobby Henrey, who carried the whole structure upon eight-year-old shoulders and is never for an instant a child actor, but always a child”.
    Last edited by darrenburnfan; 20-10-13 at 07:44 PM.

  17. #97
    Senior Member Country: England darrenburnfan's Avatar
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    BELOW: Two original 8 x 10 publicity portrait photos for The Fallen Idol, with Michele Morgan; Sir Ralph Richardson; Bobby Henrey and MacGregor.





  18. #98
    Senior Member Country: England darrenburnfan's Avatar
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    Scenes from The Fallen Idol, produced and directed by Carol Reed (London Films).







  19. #99
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    Have just had a long chat with another projectionist 'darrenburnfan' re-wrong aspect ratio. He has been doing digital presentations for over 10 years now and has often had the 1:33-1 problem crop up. It's not just a push a button job...a trained engineer has to be called in to take the machine to bits in order to present 1:33-1. The projector will just sort out 1:75-1 and 2:35-1 Scope presentations only. He wasn't suprised to hear of The Fallen Idol show as the engineer told him hardly anyone knows what 'Aspect Ratio' refers to...most 'projectionists' only have a few hours training and as 1:33-1 is so rare they aren't even told about it! I suppose if they run a blu ray copy then it would be 'squeezed' for the correct ratio so the problem doesn't arise but for a normal DVD or computer copies then the problem does come up.

    how very sad...he did say they had a 35mm print turn up for the Chief Projectionist's retirement a few weeks back....a new print of 'The Smallest Show On Earth'...the Chief was over the moon and asked if he could do the last change-over...brings a tear to the eye.
    Film Man.

  20. #100
    Senior Member Country: England darrenburnfan's Avatar
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    It seems that the default position for digital projectors is wide screen, Film Man, and they can't show old 4 x 3 films without going to an awful lot of trouble. This is a crying shame, as all classic films made before 1953 were that shape and the only easy way to get around the problem is to not show old academy ratio films. A film projectionist would know all about aspect ratios (picture shape...the relationship of width to height), but it seems that modern digital staff (I can't call them 'projectionists') don't seem to have the foggiest and don't even notice when an image looks wrong (as was obvious at the Regal, Tenbury Wells).

    I wish that chief a very happy retirement after taking his last changeover. Unfortunately, his profession is now obsolete. It's the end of a very long era in which all us ex film projectionists will now walk off into the CinemaScope sunset. I remember taking my first changeover, it was on a film called Captain Kidd and the Slave Girl, so that's going back a bit.

    With apologies to the late Sir David Frost's send up record of Wink Martindale's Deck of Cards:

    During the Worcestershire campaign, a bunch of soldier boys had been on a long hike and they arrived in a little town called Ten-bureeeeeeeee Wells.
    The next morning being Sunday, several of the boys went to church, but this one soldier went instead to the Regal movie theater to see a movie called
    'A Matter of Life and Death'. As the movie came on the digital screen upside down and playing backwards, the soldier boy went to complain.
    "That's funny", said a staff member, "we've been showing it that way all week and you are the first to complain".
    And friends, the story is true. I know, because I was that soldier boy!
    Last edited by darrenburnfan; 11-11-13 at 04:45 PM.

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