The Third Man

Movie Information

In Brief: Carol Reed's The Third Man (1949) is  that rarest of movies in that it’s a filmmaker favorite (I’ve yet to meet the director who didn’t treasure it), a film buff’s delight and immediately accessible to the more casual moviegoer all at once. Why? Because it works on so many levels simultaneously and is positively breathless in its flow. From the very first scenes, The Third Man never really lets up. Director Reed’s voice-over about postwar Vienna and the start of the story of Holly Martins (Joseph Cotten) is delivered at almost breakneck speed. It hardly even matters that the film’s mystery isn’t much of a mystery (assuming you know who Orson Welles plays). The story is always fascinating and the dialogue first-rate throughout, all delivered by a perfect cast in amazing settings, and all framed by Reed in such a manner that there’s not an uninteresting composition in the entire film. This excerpt was taken from a review by Ken Hanke originally published on Sept. 25, 2015.
Genre: Suspense Thriller
Director: Carol Reed
Starring: Joseph Cotten, Valli, Orson Welles, Trevor Howard, Bernard Lee, Wilfrid Hyde White
Rated: NR

Classic World Cinema by Courtyard Gallery will present The Third Man on Friday, June 2, at 8 p.m. at Flood Gallery Fine Art Center, 2160 U.S. 70, Swannanoa.

About Ken Hanke
Head film critic for Mountain Xpress from December 2000 until his death in June 2016. Author of books "Ken Russell's Films," "Charlie Chan at the Movies," "A Critical Guide to Horror Film Series," "Tim Burton: An Unauthorized Biography of the Filmmaker."

Before you comment

The comments section is here to provide a platform for civil dialogue on the issues we face together as a local community. Xpress is committed to offering this platform for all voices, but when the tone of the discussion gets nasty or strays off topic, we believe many people choose not to participate. Xpress editors are determined to moderate comments to ensure a constructive interchange is maintained. All comments judged not to be in keeping with the spirit of civil discourse will be removed and repeat violators will be banned. See here for our terms of service. Thank you for being part of this effort to promote respectful discussion.

Leave a Reply

To leave a reply you may Login with your Mountain Xpress account, connect socially or enter your name and e-mail. Your e-mail address will not be published. All fields are required.