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The Third Man [Blu-ray] (1949)

Joseph Cotten , Orson Welles , Carol Reed  |  NR |  Blu-ray
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (452 customer reviews)

List Price: $19.99
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Blu-ray 1-Disc Version $16.76  
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Other [VHS] 50th Anniversary Edition $32.95  

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The Third Man [Blu-ray] + The Maltese Falcon [Blu-ray] + Casablanca (70th Anniversary Edition) [Blu-ray]
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Product Details

  • Actors: Joseph Cotten, Orson Welles
  • Directors: Carol Reed
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Dolby, Subtitled, Widescreen, Black & White
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: Spanish
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: LIONSGATE
  • DVD Release Date: September 14, 2010
  • Run Time: 105 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (452 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B003ULW74S
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #22,289 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Third Man [Blu-ray]" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

THE THIRD MAN is a British cinematic icon: from director Carol Reed, author Graham Greene and starring Joseph Cotten, Alida Valli and Orson Welles. Set in post-war Vienna, the film noir features some of cinema's most memorable set pieces --- the chase through the sewers, the enormous ferris wheel, the elm-lined cemetery...and Anton Karas' zither score, a worldwide phenomenon in itself. THE THIRD MAN is a swirling blend of thriller, romance, mystery and war film that was nominated for three Oscars(R) and named to the AFI's Top 100 Movies List.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
246 of 272 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great surrealist drama of truth and loyalth February 17, 2000
By smarmer
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
It was with great anticipation that I viewed The Third Man recently. I had last seen it nearly 25 years earlier. At the earlier viewing I was impressed with the atmospheric treatment of Vienna and the mystery surrounding Joseph Cotton's search for the truth about his friend Harry (Orson Wells). However, though I then thought of it as a very fine movie, I did not think it would rank in my top 20. Now I see what I missed as a younger person. I can also see why this film would rank as number one on a British list of greatest films of the 20th century.
The film is a surreal examination of the tension between loyalty, love, and friendship on the one hand, and truth and justice on the other. The Viennese are suffused with the cynicism of a destroyed continent and damaged culture. The British know only about the truth and justice side of the equation. The American writer of simple westerns still is naïve enough to care about friendship and truth, and follows both wherever they lead. At the same time, Carol Reed scarcely shoots a scene in which there are right angles. Nearly everything is tilted. Close-ups of faces exaggerate their features. The black and white of the film emphasizes the shadowy nature of the story and its moral underpinnings.
At first Holly Martins (Cotton) thinks he is helping his best friend, Harry Lime (Wells). At the same time he becomes Harry's rival for the woman, Anna. When Harry realizes that Holly has discovered his true evil scheme, Harry has a chance to murder Holly and make it look like an accident. What stops him? Friendship? And why does Harry accept Holly's invitation to meet? In the penultimate scene in the underground sewer tunnels, does Holly fire the final and fatal shot, or does Harry kill himself?
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70 of 75 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must have DVD for film noir fans! July 28, 2000
Format:DVD
I have always seen inferior prints of this film until I found this Criterion DVD and I must say, it was like watching a completely different film. The crisp b&w photography has been restored to the original pristine quality and one can easily see why this film took home the Oscar for best cinematography. The sound is also superb. The DVD is loaded with extra features such as the original opening monologue to the British release (voiced by director Carol Reed), a reading of the novel by author Graham Greene, archival footage of the sewer system "police" in Vienna (which plays a significant part in the film), and numerous stills with tantalizing behind the scenes information (like the fact that Orson Welles was so put off by working in the actual sewers that he refused to return and the crew had to build a sewer set at Shepperton Studios). There are many other extras as well, actually too many to remember. Bravo to Criterion for their amazing work on this classic film!
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54 of 57 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Ok, but........ October 7, 2010
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
The Studio Canal blu ray version of the Third Man is an ok transfer--but not as good as the version released by Criterion Collection. Having purchased the Studio Canal version, and then subsequently finding a new copy of the Criterion Collection version, it is apparent that each has used a print from a different source. In regards to the Studio Canal version, I noticed some less than stellar frames near the end of the film----where Joseph Cotton is leaning at the road side, watching Alida Valli walk by. In any case, the Studio Canal version isn't bad and I wouldn't discourage its purchase. But if you love this film and want the best print available---try to locate a copy of the Criterion Collection---before they completely disappear.
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103 of 120 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars New Release of the Greatest British Film (BFI) April 13, 2007
Format:DVD
According to Criterion, this 2 disc release should contain:
- All-new, restored high-definition digital transfer
- Video introduction by writer-director Peter Bogdanovich
- Two audio commentaries: one by filmmaker Steven Soderbergh and screenwriter Tony Gilroy, and one by film scholar Dana Polan
- Shadowing "The Third Man" (2005), a ninety-minute feature documentary on the making of the film
- Abridged recording of Graham Greene's treatment, read by actor Richard Clarke
- "Graham Greene: The Hunted Man," an hour-long, 1968 episode of the BBC's Omnibus series, featuring a rare interview with the novelist
- Who Was the Third Man? (2000), a thirty-minute Austrian documentary featuring interviews with cast and crew
- The Third Man on the radio: the 1951 "A Ticket to Tangiers" episode of The Lives of Harry Lime series, written and performed by Orson Welles; and the 1951 Lux Radio Theatre adaptation of The Third Man
- Illustrated production history with rare behind-the-scenes photos, original UK press book, and U.S. trailer
- Actor Joseph Cotten's alternate opening voice-over narration for the U.S. version
- Archival footage of postwar Vienna
- A look at the untranslated foreign dialogue in the film
- Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
PLUS: A booklet featuring essays by Luc Sante, Charles Drazin, and Philip Kerr -- Also: a web-exclusive essay on Anton Karas by musician John Doe

AUDIO: Dolby Digital 1.0 signal on 5.1-channel sound systems / two-channel playback.
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56 of 64 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No wonder it tops the British Best 100 list February 26, 2000
By smarmer
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
It was with great anticipation that I viewed The Third Man recently. I had last seen it nearly 25 years earlier. At the earlier viewing I was impressed with the atmospheric treatment of Vienna and the mystery surrounding Joseph Cotton's search for the truth about his friend Harry (Orson Wells). However, though I then thought of it as a very fine movie, I did not think it would rank in my top 20. Now I see what I missed as a younger person. I can also see why this film would rank as number one on a British list of greatest films of the 20th century.
The film is a surreal examination of the tension between loyalty, love, and friendship on the one hand, and truth and justice on the other. The Viennese are suffused with the cynicism of a destroyed continent and damaged culture. The British know only about the truth and justice side of the equation. The American writer of simple westerns still is naïve enough to care about friendship and truth, and follows both wherever they lead. At the same time, Carol Reed scarcely shoots a scene in which there are right angles. Nearly everything is tilted. Close-ups of faces exaggerate their features. The black and white of the film emphasizes the shadowy nature of the story and its moral underpinnings.
At first Holly Martins (Cotton) thinks he is helping his best friend, Harry Lime (Wells). At the same time he becomes Harry's rival for the woman, Anna. When Harry realizes that Holly has discovered his true evil scheme, Harry has a chance to murder Holly and make it look like an accident. What stops him? Friendship? And why does Harry accept Holly's invitation to meet? In the penultimate scene in the underground sewer tunnels, does Holly fire the final and fatal shot, or does Harry kill himself?
Read more ›
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Good Movie
I liked the acting, the story line, and the cinematography. It held my interest. I would recommend it to anyone who likes movies
Published 1 day ago by D. Powll
5.0 out of 5 stars One more proof that old classics are mach better then new best.
5* for directing, 5* for cinematography, 5* for acting,
One more proof that old classics are mach better then new best.
Published 10 days ago by valentin prokopets
4.0 out of 5 stars Love old movies
Great story and movie, but I do love the old movies , That is what is so wonderful about Prime. We get to see these older movies for free. well, with our free shipping. Worth it.
Published 13 days ago by deanna taylor
5.0 out of 5 stars The Third Man
The film is exactly as I remember it when first released in cinemas. The theme music by Anton Karras is one of my favourites.
Published 17 days ago by Robert I Ferguson
5.0 out of 5 stars Must see movie
I've watched this movie a dozen times, and it is a cinematic masterpiece. The dialogue, plot, acting, cinematography are all flawless. Read more
Published 26 days ago by Patricia
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Movie.
I wanted my son to see this movie since he was familiar with the mise en scene. I did feel the price was excessive.
Published 1 month ago by jamesbbell
5.0 out of 5 stars a classic
Whether you are a student of film history or just like a beautifully made black and white thriller, this is a must see movie by one of the greats.
Published 1 month ago by Robert Kornfeld, Jr.
5.0 out of 5 stars it's a keeper
I was five when this movie was released, but I had never seen it up to now. I do remember the BBC series with Michael Rennie as Harry Lime, which also had lots of zither music. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Stanley Crowe
5.0 out of 5 stars Orson Welles
Great movie of intrigue in Berlin, Germany after World War II. Starring Orson Welles and Joseph Cotten. The sound-track-zither-
playing is great.
Published 1 month ago by James M. Dunleavy
5.0 out of 5 stars Story suspenseful and visually beautiful even after all these years...
I thought the storyline was good and kept my attention. Some of the shots were a bit overwrought or doubled up to make *sure* you got the point, but so many of the shots were quite... Read more
Published 1 month ago by lkmemphis
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The Third Man Blu-ray Case
Criterion caught on that people hated the cardboard Digipak cases so they started releasing new titles in the plastic cases around April 2009. Older titles continue to ship in the paper cases (except The Third Man, briefly).

In the case of The Third Man, they started replacing the paper cases... Read more
Nov 12, 2009 by James Goss |  See all 4 posts
Is "The Third Man" Studio Canal Collection Blu-ray in COLOR?
it is not colorized
Format: Closed-captioned, Dolby, Subtitled, Widescreen, Black & White
Sep 19, 2010 by nichtkomisch |  See all 3 posts
blu-ray edition coming
This forum IS for the BD edition.
Dec 15, 2008 by BubbaCoop |  See all 3 posts
Bootleg copies of "The Third Man"
Well the Criterion version is now out of print, so its no longer possible to buy it from Amazon. If you ordered the Criterion and received the StudioCanal edition, let them know and they'll probably refund you. As far as quality, the Criterion edition appears to have a better picture and arguably... Read more
Jul 12, 2011 by Quexos |  See all 2 posts
going out of print
thats why i just bought mine
Oct 28, 2009 by J. Fanning |  See all 5 posts
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