The Third Man (The Criterion Collection)
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Product Description Orson Welles stars as Harry Lime, and Joseph Cotten plays his childhood friend, Holly Martins, in this all-time classic thriller scripted by Graham Greene and directed by Carol Reed. Martins searches for Lime through the seedy underworld of postwar Vienna and gets caught up in a web of love, deception, racketeering, and murder. The Third Man's stunning cinematography, twisting plot, and unforgettable zither score are immortalized in Criterion's pristine special edition, following the 50th Anniversary theatrical re-release. Amazon.com The fractured Europe post-World War II is perfectly capturedin 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 postwar intrigue, Martins finds layer under layer of deception, which he desperately tries to sort out. Welles's 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 postwar society. Cotten and Welles give career-making performances, and the Anton Karas zither theme will haunt you. --Anne Hurley Additional Features 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