The Fallen Idol, 1948


Carol Reed


visit the film locations

London: Flights: Heathrow Airport; Gatwick Airport

Belgravia: (tube: Hyde Park Corner; Piccadilly Line) The upmarket district is named after Belgrave Square, an unwelcoming area of barely-distinguishable cream-painted streets and squares of Intimidatingly grand houses, most of which bristle with security devices and video surveillance cameras, and sport pompous embassy plaques

London Zoo, Outer Circle, Regent’s Park, NW1 (tel: 020.7722.3333) (tube: Camden Town; Northern Line)


Other films made around Belgravia include The Million Pound Note, with Gregory Peck, 70s trashfest The Stud, with Joan Collins, and the 1956 film of Around the World in Eighty Days (where Belgrave Square was home to Phileas Fogg).

London Zoo was, of course, featured in Withnail and I and Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.

The Fallen Idol location: Belgrave Square, Belgravia, London SW1

The Fallen Idol location: the ‘embassy’: northeast corner of Belgrave Square, Belgravia, London SW1

Carol Reed (The Third Man, Oliver!) films Graham Greene’s short story The Basement Room, on real locations around London.

The ‘Embassy’, in which butler Baines (Ralph Richardson) comes close to being falsely arrested for murder is the headquarters of the St John’s Ambulance organisation at the northeast corner of Belgrave Square, on Wilton and Grosvenor Crescents (tube: Hyde Park Corner; Piccadilly Line).

The maze of narrow mews streets where Baines clandestinely meets with Julie (Michele Morgan), and where young Phillipe (Bobby Henrey) gets lost, have moved seriously upmarket from the pub’n’cafe atmosphere of the movie. They are Belgrave Mews and Kinnerton Street, just to the north of Belgrave Square.

The day out was filmed at London Zoo, at the old refreshment stand in front of the Mappin Terraces.

Buy the DVD

Region 1

Region 2

Buy the book