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The Third Man - Criterion Collection [Blu-ray] [Import]
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The fractured Europe post-World War II is perfectly captured in Carol Reed's masterpiece thriller, set in a Vienna still shell-shocked from battle. Holly Martins (Joseph Cotten) is an alcoholic pulp writer come to visit his old friend Harry Lime (Orson Welles). But when Cotton first arrives in Vienna, Lime's funeral is under way. From Lime's girlfriend and an occupying British officer, Martins learns of allegations of Lime's involvement in racketeering, which Martins vows to clear from his friend's reputation. As he is drawn deeper into post-war intrigue, Martins finds layer upon layer of deception, which he desperately tries to sort out. Welles' long-delayed entrance in the film has become one of the hallmarks of modern cinematography and it is just one of dozens of cockeyed camera angles that seem to mirror the off-kilter post-war society. Cotten and Welles give career-making performances and the Anton Karas zither theme will haunt you. --Anne Hurley --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
This 50th-anniversary DVD release of The Third Man is a perfect example of how the Criterion Collection continues to raise the bar on how a special edition should be produced. Not only did Carol Reed's classic undergo an impeccable facelift, drastically enhancing the sights and sounds of post-World War II Vienna, but the disc is also packed with pertinent extras that provide deep insight into the film. The new digital transfer was created from the restored 35mm fine-grain master positive, presented in its original theatrical aspect ratio of 1.33:1 and mono soundtrack. A major element of The Third Man is its magnificent cinematography, and it is extremely satisfying to see the high-quality visual improvements. Notable extras include Peter Bogdanovich's introduction, an alternate opening voice-over by Joseph Cotton, and two radio broadcasts of The Third Man chronicling The Lives of Harry Lime. All in all, a wonderful repackaging of a true classic. --Robert Bracco --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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It all starts with Holly Martins (Cotten), a drunkard who writes the type of books which used to be known as "penny dreadfuls", arriving in Vienna not long after the end of WWII on the promise of a job. It turns out that his prospective employer, Harry Lime (Welles), has been killed in an accident and Martins has arrived just in time for the funeral. Lime's friends soon make contact with the wayward Martins, who becomes convinced that his friend has been murdered, and eventually through a series of encounters, he winds up in the hands of the Military Police.
In the opinion of this reviewer, this is Cotten's best film and though I've never been a big fan of his, he suits the role admirably. I also believe this is Trevor Howard's finest performance. So good is Howard that there is little doubt over his conviction that Martins is wrong and the scene where all is revealled to him is a feature of the film. Orson Welles was an acting giant in anyone's terms although by this time he was almost universally regarded as box office poison. His characterisation of the psychopathic Lime has been the model for so many film baddies and in may ways is as sinister as Hannibal Lecter.
The cinematography is superb.Read more ›
Harry Lime: Don't be so gloomy. After all, it's not that awful. Like the fella says, in Italy for 30 years under the Borgias, they had warfare, terror, murder, and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and the Renaissance. In Switzerland, they had brotherly love; they had 500 years of democracy and peace, and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock. So long, Holly.
And the zither music ain't bad, either!
You will never get tired of watching over and over this giant work. A Cold War spy classic. From Graham Greene novel.
Ian C., Almonte, ON
Most recent customer reviews
It's the Third Man. Really?? This has to be explained? All those twisty turning semi- spy movies started here and very few have improved on it.Published 6 months ago by Eisen
THE THIRD MAN [1949 / 2015] [Limited Collector's Edition] [Blu-ray] [UK Release] A Thing of True Cinematic Beauty! The Best British Film Ever Made! Read morePublished 6 months ago by Amazon Customer
It's okay, worth seeing. But it's now on Netflix, so probably wasn't worth buying.Published 8 months ago by Fusion Head
This is a fine story portrayed by excellent actors. However, the sound is not clear so dialogue is hard to understandPublished 10 months ago by Sylvia Chorney
I'm unable to submit a review because I ordered The Third Man in Blu-ray and have discovered that I can't play Blue-ray on my DVD player. I plan to donate it to the public library.Published 19 months ago by pecarol
I can't play this DVD on my DVD player. It seems to me you should have made this clear when I bought it.
The same applies for Anatomy of a Murder. Read more
This DVD will not play on my machine. Why sell something that isn't made for Canada.Published 21 months ago by Amazon Customer
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