In one of his first roles, Warren Beatty plays a callous, self-involved young man who is idolized by his younger brother Brandon DeWilde. When Beatty and DeWilde's parents Karl Malden and Angela Lansbury take in Eva Marie Saint as a boarder, Beatty makes violent love to the poor (but not entirely unwilling) girl. Saint becomes pregnant, a contingency which brings out the absolute worst in Beatty. When he deserts her, she kills herself. Only at this point does DeWilde (who has worshipped Saint from afar) realize that Beatty has feet of clay. Attempting to kill his older brother, DeWilde relents when he decides that Beatty is more pathetic than evil. Playwright William Inge adapted the screenplay for All Fall Down from a novel by James Leo Herlihy. So dependent is this film on its stark black and white photography that the currently available colorized version is tantamount to sacrilege.
by Hal Erickson synopsis