The Third Man (1949)


Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBBB

United Kingdom, 1949.  London Film Productions.  Screenplay by .  Cinematography by .  Produced by Carol Reed.  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .  Podcast:  My Criterions.  

arrives in Vienna to attend the funeral of a childhood friend who has recently passed away. Investigation into his friend’s life and business reveal that he was mixed up in a black-market scheme gone awry, and that there is a missing suspect out there who might have information as to how he actually died. Orson Welles appears in a marvelous supporting role as a shady figure in this brilliant, exciting British thriller based on the novel by Grahame Greene. Twists and turns abound, plus there’s a fantastic confrontation on a ferris wheel and a climactic chase through the underground tunnels of Vienna. The moody black-and-white photography is gorgeous, and Carol Reed’s direction couldn’t be more impressive. Fans of this film will definitely want to take a look at the little indie film Frogs For Snakes, where actress Lisa Marie gives a reading of Welles’ famous ferris wheel speech.

Academy Award:  Best Cinematography-BW
Nominations: Best Director (Carol Reed); Best Film Editing

Cannes Film Festival Award Grand Prize of the Festival

The Criterion Collection:  #64


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