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You know the story. Holly Martins (Cotten), a writer of pulp Westerns and one of life's congenital third-raters, arrives in post-WWII Vienna only to learn that his old pal Harry Lime, the guy who sent him his plane ticket, is being buried. Everybody, from a cynical British cop named Calloway (Trevor Howard) to Harry's Continental knockout of a girlfriend (AlidaValli) and his sundry absurd/Euro-sinister business associates, feels that Holly should get on another plane and go home. He doesn't. Things come to light. Other deaths follow. The world lies in utter ruin.
The Third Man completed a sublime hat trick--an international critical and popular smash following upon the success of Reed's Odd Man Out ('47) and The Fallen Idol ('48). Although other filmmakers had begun to use war-ravaged Europe as a great movie set, The Third Man is so vivid in its canny mix of gray semidocumentary and insanely angular, Expressionist/Surrealist chiaroscuro that it seems to have imagined not only the postwar thriller but also postwar Europe itself singlehandedly.
What great movie moments: The throwaway details like a mourner who forgets to drop his wreath on a newly dug grave. The sly editing whereby thick-headed Sergeant Paine (Bernard Lee, once and future "M" to 007) goes on leafing through a magazine, knowing just the moment he must rise and subdue the nervy Yank who would take a punch at his boss. The way Anton Karas's legendary zither score seems to jangle in the very guy-lines of a bridge where, far below Robert Krasker's Oscar-winning camera, the Third Man calls a war council. The shadow of a dead man towering, big as Europe, over the nighttime streets of Vienna. --Richard T. Jameson
Stills from The Third Man (Click for larger image)
The Third Man could be considered one of the best movies ever made.
It's a perfect example of having all the elements that go into the making of a film working together to produce a true classic in every sense of the word.
Well acted by Joseph Cotten, Trevor Howard, Alida Valli and of course Orson Welles playing Harry Lime.
An amazingly modern film given when it was made. Fine acting and directing.Published 2 days ago by CV Bookreader
This one of the great movies of the 20th centurt- The Austrian Waldzither background music creates just the right mood, just as the cimbalom background in Kafka- Jeremy IRONS-SETS... Read morePublished 26 days ago by Edward R.
Didn't expect the subtitles. They are annoying and detract from enjoying this wonderful film! I'm really disappointed in this version. Read morePublished 26 days ago by Karin Stephens
I had forgotten just how powerful this movie was. The direction and the use of light and shadow gives an atmosphere that would be hard to achieve in color. Read morePublished 27 days ago by Conway Coe
|Topic||From this Discussion|
|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
|Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1????????????||Be the first to reply|