Reviewer's Rating 4 out of 5   User Rating 4 out of 5
The Third Man DVD (1949)

One of the most famous British motion pictures of all time, and voted favourite by the members of the BFI, Carol Reed's "The Third Man" is a must-see drama/thriller now out on the new Warner Bros DVD release.

TECHNICAL FEATURES

Picture The print is a little scratchy at times, but overall it's in good shape, transferring to disc with decent contrast levels that only too well demonstrate why the black and white cinematography won an Oscar.

Sound Presented in a mono mix, there's little distortion or hiss here, despite the age of the film.

SPECIAL FEATURES

Trailers Both the original release and re-release trailers are on offer here, although the latter is simply a shortened version of the first, missing out such tremendous lines as "The man on every woman's lips". Both trailers do still promise that "He'll have you in a dither with his zither", in reference to Anton Karas' zither score.

Third Man on the Radio

Two US radio plays are on offer here, and both are tremendous fun. So disconnect that phone, dim the lights, pour yourself a large glass of your particular poison and thrill to "A Ticket to Tangiers" ; a Harry Lime prequel. Then recline even further into the Lux radio presentation (as in Lux Toilet soap) of "The Third Man".

US Opening Sequence

Joseph Cotton narrates the opening sequence for the benefit of a US audience, without what they might have considered the stiff-ass limey delivery that we get over in old blighty.

Archival Footage

Two short bits of newsreel here, the first of some behind-the-scenes shots of the filming in the Viennese sewers, followed by Anton Karas working a restaurant crowd presumably into a "hither with his zither".

Photo Gallery

This turns out to be quite a large gallery of behind-the-scenes shots from the production of the movie. The rakish angle they're presented at is a little annoying, but it's well worth a browse otherwise.

Region: 2
Chapters: 32
Ratio: 1.33:1 (fullscreen original ratio)
Sound: Dolby Digital 1.0 (mono)
Extra Features: Scene selection, and musically scored menus.

This DVD was reviewed on a JVC XV-S57 DVD player.

End Credits

Director: Carol Reed

Writer: Graham Greene, Alexander Korda

Stars: Joseph Cotton, Alida Valli, Orson Welles, Trevor Howard, Paul Hörbiger

Genre: Thriller

Length: 100 minutes

Cinema: 1949

DVD: 14 January 2002

Country: UK