The Fallen Idol

Graham Greene called his thrillers “entertainments”, which sounds dismissive of his own work but really it was an accurate contrast to the more heavy Catholic novels he apparently preferred to write. Greene himself adapted two of his entertainments to film for director Carol Reed, one being The Third Man and the other (and first) being this week’s episode The Fallen Idol (1948) adapted from a short story called The Basement Room, a significantly worse name.

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The Third Man

Carol Reed directed, Graham Greene written, David O. Selznick produced, Orson Welles and Joseph Cotton star. The Third Man (1947) is one of the noiriest noir films and one of my favorite films of all time. I'm not alone in there, as it consistently rates near the top of best film lists.

I owned this movie for a long time. I could watch this movie every day and not grow tired of it. And yet still, viewing it to talk about this week brought fresh eyes and new observations: things I'd never noticed; things I feel kind of stupid for never noticing. Which I suppose is the sign of a true classic. Always something new to discover.