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  1. #141
    Senior Member Country: England darrenburnfan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dicky2006 View Post
    I enjoyed it last night also. As you say the correct format...excellent. Once again, thanks for sharing all of this.
    Glad you liked it, dicky. It was nominated for two Oscars and won the BAFTA award for Best British Film of 1948 as well as winning many other international awards.

  2. #142
    Senior Member Country: England darrenburnfan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by julian_craster View Post
    If you missed it, they are screening this classic film again this week......
    A classic that deserves another screening, Julian.

  3. #143
    Senior Member Country: England darrenburnfan's Avatar
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    PLEASE NOTE: The following article was published some months before the release of the film
    and before its release title was changed to "The Fallen Idol."

    Leader magazine, centre pages 14 and 15, Saturday, April 10th, 1948.

    BRITISH FILMS FIND A BOY STAR
    by John Barber.



    Bobby Henrey in "The Lost Illusion" got the job when someone saw his face on a book-jacket.


    "With children, it is much the same as with grown-ups. To be any good to a director, an actor or actress must either be wonderful, or know absolutely nothing about acting. A little knowledge – that’s what is bad! If a woman says to a child: ‘What have you got in your pocket?’ and the child is not trying to act, he will show in his face that loveable and awkward look the audience will appreciate". So says Carol Reed and, when he came to cast the chief part in ‘The Lost Illusion’, a boy of eight, he did not go to one of the usual child-actor academies. He welcomed the idea when Sir Alexander Korda’s casting chief suggested Bobby Henrey for no other reason than that he liked the little boy’s picture on a book-jacket.

    Bobby’s father is English, but his mother is French. He was born near Caen but escaped to London when Paris fell in 1940 and was pushed around Shepherd Market in Piccadilly in his French pram during the Battle of Britain. His first laugh was to see a house demolished by a bomb. He learned to walk in Mayfair and was so fascinated by a Victorian toy theatre, his mother said: "You may grow up to be an actor!" She is writing a book about his experiences. When Korda’s invitation arrived, Bobby was living on his grandmother’s Normandy farm. He flew to London for a screen test, meeting Carol Reed at Korda’s Hyde Park H.Q. beneath the bust of Merle Oberon. The director liked everything about Bobby except a bruised black fingernail. "Don’t let him lose his accent", Reed told his mother, "don’t let him play with any more hammers and, whatever you do, don’t let him grow any bigger".

    THE PARENT’S HESITATION


    His parents disagreed over whether to accept the Korda contract. Unlike a shrewd French-woman, his mother murmured that his character might be spoiled. Perhaps he had better stay and watch the cider being made in Normandy? His father was more realistic. "I don’t think we can lightly turn down money which could help start him in a career." The money was certainly attractive. Bobby was to get �1,000 down, free of tax, and after ten weeks, �100 a week. He and his mother were to be fed and housed at the studios and provided with transport. The child was to have a governess all the time he was working.

    Bobby’s first job as a film actor was to run across Belgrave Square dodging the traffic. In the story, he is an ambassador’s son, and so for the Embassy the film people picked out a building belonging to the British Red Cross and St. John Organisation, who were glad to lend it in return for having its exterior painted and its broken windows replaced. During the shooting of these scenes, Bobby lived in a yellow and green caravan in the gardens of the square and learned to call Michele Morgan and Ralph Richardson by their first names. Miss Morgan, he learned, was herself the mother of a boy of three and had a brother and sister still at school. Sir Ralph, who shared his caravan, would doze with his hands joined over his waistcoat, his collar and tie hung up on a peg, and a volume of Trollope on the table in front of him. Even more exciting for the child were the scenes shot inside London Zoo. While Carol Reed supervised the meals of the sea-lions, Bobby learned how to ride on a dromedary. At the end of their first day, Sir Ralph called the boy into the caravan. "Bobby, would you like to come and see my mouse?" On his dressing table stood a green cage with sand in the bottom. "Take care. It’s still rather fierce, but I’m going to tame it." The great actor was devoted to livestock: he had even asked if they would give him the snake Bobby had to play with during the film after it was all over. The child was taken next to the sound recording studio, where his voice was added to the silent open air sequences. He had to lean over a chair and call out "Papa! Papa! Au revoir, Papa!" After the first attempt – "That sounded very good, Bobby. But remember that the first time you shout, the ambassador doesn’t look up, so make your second ‘Papa’ more urgent. Do you understand?" A technician says: "His shoes are squeaking against the back of the chair. I think we had better take them off." Carol Reed explains again how he wants it done and again, Bobby turns white and feels ashamed when his mistakes are made clear to him. The director says quickly: "Splendid, Bobby, splendid! That’s very good indeed. But let’s do it once more…"

    So Bobby is an actor with weeks of experience before his first visit to the studio where the greater part of the film is made. This is at Shepperton, where remnants are strewn about of the abandoned sets of ‘Anna Karenina’. A landmark everyone talks of is ‘Hyde Park Corner.’ "Over there", says a gardener, "past the farm, Sir Alex reconstructed Hyde Park Corner, natural size, for ‘An Ideal Husband’. He builds the loveliest things, but as soon as the film is finished the bulldozers churn them up." This is one they did not destroy.

    NO MAKE-UP


    The make-up girl won’t touch Bobby. "No, definitely not", she says. "He’s so young that the blood under his skin is clear and fresh. It would be a crime to put anything on him." But now there is trouble about Bobby’s size. He is putting on weight so visibly that there is a danger that all the location shots may have to be taken again. It is all the butter and cheese buns, all the cups of tea that come round on the trolley. "The trolley is a menace", says Reed. "I shall have to make him slim. Too much starch is fatal to a film star’s line." Everything is going well at the studio when, in the middle of some complicated close-up shots, a dark cloud descends. The whole studio shuts down. Gloom and tragedy hang in the air. Bobby has had his hair cut – too short. "It’s the most expensive hair cut 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! The public won’t stand for it….", exclaims Reed. Pieces of false hair are tried, gum, wire. No good. Bobby is in tears. It is a fortnight before the scene can proceed on the huge Embassy set. But Carol Reed never stops working. Perhaps he works hardest when he seems most idle, just watching people and things going on. Everything is always surprising him – especially Bobby. "I had planned certain scenes when Bobby would lean over the banisters", he says, "but I noticed that when left to himself he was always getting into the most graceful positions, curling up his hands, and this was much more effective than anything I had imagined, so very much more natural that I changed the scenes entirely to conform with his mannerisms. When I looked as if I was miles away, I was watching how he walked, and crossed the street, and all his ways of laughing…" But Carol Reed has also to remember that, with all his importance in the story, Bobby isn’t everything. "Of course, there’s the child. But we mustn’t over-estimate his value. After the first reel, the public will say: ‘Yes, he’s a very nice child.’ But after that they will begin to ask themselves: ‘What are we paying our money for?’ Yes, this is a particularly tricky film…" The red light goes on. A great silence. And Reed speaks, with infinite patience. "Now, Bobby, that was very good, but let’s try it all over again…"

     
    Last edited by darrenburnfan; 24-01-14 at 03:44 PM.

  4. #144
    Senior Member Country: England darrenburnfan's Avatar
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    An original 8 x 10 press still. In the tea shop, Julie tells a horrified Baines that their secret affair is untenable and must be ended.


  5. #145
    Senior Member Country: Australia lllIIlllIIlllIIl's Avatar
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    ^ The ceiling in that picture makes me think that scene was shot in a real building instead of a studio set.

  6. #146
    Senior Member Country: England darrenburnfan's Avatar
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    I've often thought the same and I'm sure I remember reading somewhere that there was a small electrical shop in Belgrave Mews West, opposite and just down the road from the Star Tavern pub, that the film company changed into a tea shop while the scenes were shot and then changed everything back to how it was afterwards.

  7. #147
    Senior Member Country: England darrenburnfan's Avatar
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    Good and Evil. Mrs Baines, having found out where Phillipe was hiding MacGregor, comes down the kitchen stairs with his pet wrapped up in newspaper and, just as Phillipe, not knowing what she has wrapped up in the paper, begins to climb the stairs with his supper tray in his hands, he tells her: "I'm sorry I said I hated you." "That's alright", says Mrs Baines, coldly and without looking at him as she opens up the stove and throws the parcel into the flames, incinerating poor MacGregor alive. You can't have a more explicit example of good and evil in the same scene than that.



    "So, you’ve been buying cream buns again!",
    shouted Mrs Baines, seeing a mark on Phillipe’s pullover.
    "That’s not what your pocket money is for!"

  8. #148
    Senior Member Country: United States TimR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by darrenburnfan View Post
    Bobby lives in Greenwich, Connecticut, and the meeting came about because early this year (2013), I was contacted by Jerry Johns, the publisher of Bobby's forthcoming autobiography at the Polperro Heritage Press in Worcester, who had seen my extensive collection of stills and information about Bobby and his films on my then flickr photostream, which I have since deleted, and asked if they could use some of the information and photos in the book. I said yes, of course, and Jerry told me that Bobby (or Robert as he is now) was a great fan of my photostream and that he would love to meet me when he came over in September to launch the book at the Regal cinema in Tenbury Wells. I was to be one of the invited guests at the launching, which would also include a digital presentation of The Fallen Idol. I accepted the invitation, although I knew that travelling all that distance would most probably make me ill, which it did, especially on the return journey. On the evening, there were at least 200 other invited guests who had come from all over the place, but because I had been asked by Jerry to turn up early, before all the others arrived, so that Bobby could have a chat with me, I was able to meet and talk to him at length about his childhood stardom and many other things. It was an amazing, once in a lifetime experience and he made just as much fuss of me as I did of him and the photos testify to this. Below is a scan of the invitation card I received....

    I'm just catching up with this - what a wonderful experience - very interesting, and quite an honor.

    He lives in Greenwich. That is also interesting.

  9. #149
    Senior Member Country: England darrenburnfan's Avatar
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    Yes, Tim, a real honour for me. I'd think it was all just a fabulous dream if it wasn't for the photographs proving that it really happened.

  10. #150
    Senior Member Country: England darrenburnfan's Avatar
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    THE FALLEN IDOL from the book The Great British Films, by Jerry Vermilye.

    Under the aegis of Alexander Korda�s London Films, Carol Reed (who had recently departed The J. Arthur Rank Organisation after disputes over the budget for Odd Man Out) now joined creative forces with novelist Graham Greene in an adaptation of the latter�s 1935 short story "The Basement Room", about a little boy who unintentionally betrays his adult friend � a murderer � to the authorities. For the screen version, it was decided to reverse the basic story so that the now innocent gentleman would be, reluctantly, thought guilty by the child, of a crime he didn�t commit. With Night Train to Munich and Odd Man Out, Reed had ably demonstrated his skill in guiding suspense tales on the screen. But The Fallen Idol, it was generally agreed, put him in the august company of the acknowledged master, Alfred Hitchcock. This mystery thriller displayed a cunning use of visual imagery and unusual camera angles to match the unbelievably natural performance Reed drew from blond, eight-year-old Bobby Henrey, in his film debut. Reed has attributed his success in directing children to the fact that he makes acting a "game" between himself and them. Explaining his unusual filming technique with the young, Reed once said: "I never let a child speak in a scene with professionals, because when professionals have to play next to an amateur, they keep worrying that he�ll forget his cue. Amateurs and children always remember their dialogue, but they always forget their cues. What I do is shoot the scene until the child�s line is due. Then I cut, do a separate take of the line reading, and then start again. This relaxes the professionals. Sometimes, I speak the child�s line myself, let the other actors go on with the scene, and later have the child dub his line in."

    The story takes place inside a foreign embassy in London�s Belgrave Square. Phillipe (Bobby Henrey), the ambassador�s little boy, is left in the charge of their kindly butler, Baines (Sir Ralph Richardson, in a fine characterisation), whom the child idolises, and his unpleasant housekeeper-wife (Sonia Dresdel), whose stern discipline engenders his hatred. Baines is in love with Julie (Michele Morgan), an embassy typist, and Phillipe overhears them discuss ending their clandestine relationship, a conversation he is later tricked into repeating to Mrs Baines. That night, he overhears husband and wife quarreling violently, and when the woman accidentally falls down the main staircase to her death, the lad tries with every possible subterfuge to protect his idol, whom he believes guilty of murder. Ironically, the very evidence Phillipe withholds proves to be vital in proving the butler�s innocence.

    Carol Reed unfolds this intriguing little tale with a great deal of suspense and many subtle observations of character. His brilliant direction operates in tandem with the imaginative black-and-white photography of Georges Perinal. The Fallen Idol is full of wonderful scenes and visual images that remain with the viewer: pajama-clad Phillipe, on the heels of discovering the housekeeper�s death, running wildly through the rainy, night-lit London streets, his terror emphasised by dramatically inventive camera positions; the spooky hide and seek games played by the child, Baines and Julie, through the darkly ominous embassy halls and rooms; that sinister, twisting main staircase that becomes almost a living character in the film. But Reed knows well how to balance the melodrama of his narrative with humourous observation, such as the lonely boy�s confidential conversations with MacGregor, his little pet snake, whose existence is threatened by the diabolical Mrs Baines; and the amusing scene in a police station, where the frightened Phillipe is offered consolation by a saucy tart (Dora Bryan) who has just been arrested. For weaving so suspenseful and nearly faultless a motion picture around a crime that never was, and for coaxing an acting tour-de-force from little Bobby Henrey � who, not unexpectedly, runs away with the movie � Carol Reed won the New York Film Critics� Best Director award. The British Film Academy announced The Fallen Idol as Britain�s Best Picture of 1948. For Reed, it foreshadowed his even more esteemed The Third Man.

  11. #151
    Senior Member Country: England darrenburnfan's Avatar
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    From the above essay: Reed once said: "I never let a child speak in a scene with professionals, because when professionals have to play next to an amateur, they keep worrying that he’ll forget his cue. Amateurs and children always remember their dialogue, but they always forget their cues. What I do is shoot the scene until the child’s line is due. Then I cut, do a separate take of the line reading, and then start again. This relaxes the professionals. Sometimes, I speak the child’s line myself, let the other actors go on with the scene, and later have the child dub his line in."

    This is a very odd thing for him to have said...if, indeed, he did say it...because it doesn't seem that he's referring to Bobby Henrey in The Fallen Idol, because there are many scenes throughout the film where Bobby not only shares scenes on the screen with the other actors, but engages in dialogue with them, too. Perhaps Reed was referring to scenes involving child actors that he had directed previously.

  12. #152
    Senior Member Country: England darrenburnfan's Avatar
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    Carol Reed; Sir Ralph Richardson and Michele Morgan discuss the next scene on the embassy set at Shepperton Studios in 1947.



  13. #153
    Senior Member Country: England darrenburnfan's Avatar
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    BELOW: A charming original 8 x 10 press still from The Fallen Idol showing Phillipe (Bobby Henrey) playing with his beloved pet MacGregor in the nursery.


  14. #154
    Senior Member Country: England darrenburnfan's Avatar
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    An original Front-of-House still with Michele Morgan and Sir Ralph Richardson.


  15. #155
    Senior Member Country: Australia lllIIlllIIlllIIl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by darrenburnfan View Post
    ...�.
    I wonder if that statue is meaningful?

    Is it Siamese or Indonesian, perhaps? Why would it be in a French Embassy? I know Carol Reed would soon be shooting in Ceylon and Indonesia.

  16. #156
    Senior Member Country: England darrenburnfan's Avatar
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    I don't know. I shall have to have another look at the film to see if they actually used the statue in it. Michele had better be careful she doesn't move backwards, or the statue's finger will jab her in the back of her head.

  17. #157
    Senior Member Country: United States torinfan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lllIIlllIIlllIIl View Post
    I wonder if that statue is meaningful?

    Is it Siamese or Indonesian, perhaps? Why would it be in a French Embassy? I know Carol Reed would soon be shooting in Ceylon and Indonesia.
    Isn't that a scene that takes place after Baines' wife has her deadly accident? That statue looks like it's going to shoot her

  18. #158
    Senior Member Country: England darrenburnfan's Avatar
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    It's not the main staircase, though, torinfan, but the upper one leading up to Phillipe's bedroom. Sir Ralph appears to be wearing a dressing gown, something I don't recall him wearing in the finished film.

  19. #159
    Senior Member Country: England Nakke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lllIIlllIIlllIIl View Post
    I wonder if that statue is meaningful?

    Is it Siamese or Indonesian, perhaps? Why would it be in a French Embassy?...
    The French use to have colonies in Indochina etc, no better place to have a statue like that than in an embassy.

  20. #160
    Senior Member Country: England darrenburnfan's Avatar
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    I sometimes wonder where the film studios acquired these unusual props. Did they make them in the studio workshops along with the scenery and sets or did they scour the antique shops for them?

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