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The Third Man (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray] (1949)

Joseph Cotten , Orson Welles , Carol Reed  |  NR |  Blu-ray
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (494 customer reviews)


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Product Details

  • Actors: Joseph Cotten, Orson Welles, Alida Valli
  • Directors: Carol Reed
  • Format: Black & White, DTS Surround Sound, NTSC, Special Edition, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Criterion Collection
  • DVD Release Date: December 16, 2008
  • Run Time: 104 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (494 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001EP8EKS
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #124,008 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Third Man (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Restored high-definition digital transfer
  • Uncompressed mono soundtrack
  • Video introduction by writer-director Peter Bogdanovich
  • Two audio commentaries, one by filmmaker Steven Soderbergh and screenwriter Tony Gilroy, and the other 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 series The Lives of Harry Lime, 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
  • A booklet featuring anessay by critic Luc Sante

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

Stills from The Third Man (Click for larger image)

Product Description

Pulp novelist Holly Martins travels to shadowy, postwar Vienna, only to find himself investigating the mysterious death of an old friend, black-market opportunist Harry Lime and thus begins this legendary tale of love, deception, and murder. Thanks to brilliant performances by Joseph Cotten, Alida Valli, and Orson Welles; Anton Karas s evocative zither score; Graham Greene s razor-sharp dialogue; and Robert Krasker s dramatic use of light and shadow, The Third Man, directed by the inimitable Carol Reed, just continues to grow in stature as the years pass.

BLU-RAY SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES:
Restored high-definition digital transfer
Uncompressed mono soundtrack
Video introduction by writer-director Peter Bogdanovich
Two audio commentaries: one by filmmaker Steven Soderbergh and screenwriter Tony Gilroy, and one by 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
PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by Luc Sante

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
252 of 279 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?
Read more ›
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72 of 77 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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59 of 63 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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108 of 125 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.
Was this review helpful to you?
57 of 65 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
4.0 out of 5 stars Exciting Joseph Cotton film!
Really great old film with quite a few twists and turns. I love Joseph Cotton and he was great in this part. Another who done it but way ahead of its time. Read more
Published 2 days ago by Maria P. Mason
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent film, one that I have enjoyed over and ...
An excellent film, one that I have enjoyed over and over. This print is superior to my old VHS copy, which is a great joy. Buy it, you'll like it!
Published 5 days ago by G C Otto
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
As classic as they come.
Published 5 days ago by Patrick Dial
4.0 out of 5 stars Still a classic of cinematography. Always a thrill to ...
Still a classic of cinematography. Always a thrill to escape into the magic of black & white post war Vienna.
Published 5 days ago by Trevor RUFFELL
5.0 out of 5 stars Hitchcock at his best.
Hitchcock at his best.
Published 8 days ago by WUFFMAN
5.0 out of 5 stars they loved it!
Was a gift for family members...they loved it!
Published 12 days ago by bbheel
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential Cinema
Carol Reed, Graham Greene, Joseph Cotten, Orson Welles, Trevor Howard, Alida Valli . . . and Anton Karas' immortal zither score. Read more
Published 12 days ago by Scott T. Rivers
4.0 out of 5 stars I like it
Great suspense.
Published 15 days ago by bugszy
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Wonderful spy film and wonderful mdic.
Published 17 days ago by Bernadette Hackett
5.0 out of 5 stars you are missing one of the greatest films ever made
If you haven't watched this movie, you are missing one of the greatest films ever made. This has a great cast, a great director, a great story line (one of the first movies of the... Read more
Published 24 days ago by Steven E. Goss
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