DVD REVIEW: The Fallen Idol

The Criterion Collection
Movie •••½ Picture ••••½ Sound •••½ Extras •••½
The Fallen Idol is no match for The Third Man, the brilliant thriller on which writer Graham Greene and director Carol Reed would collaborate immediately after this film. But its unique story & a privileged child mistakenly believes he witnessed a murder & and its thoughtful tone set it apart.

The transfer is a textbook case on how to achieve sharp, rich, and subtly textured black-and-white images from a well-made 1940s film. All damage has been eliminated from the picture and the mono soundtrack, which delivers dialogue with consistent clarity. The results allow you to become immersed in the strangely cloistered world of a diplomat's son.

By Criterion standards, though, the extras are a little thin. A featurette collects colorful anecdotes from Reed's peers to reveal the essence of his art, but the onscreen illustrated filmography is for obsessives only. Much better are the Greene short story on which the film is based and three beautifully written critical essays, all appearing in the booklet. [NR] English, Dolby Digital mono; full frame (1.33:1); dual layer.

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