The Third Man. 1949. Great Britain. Directed by Carol Reed. Screenplay by Graham Greene. With Joseph Cotten, Orson Welles, Alida Valli, Trevor Howard, Bernard Lee, WIlfrid Hyde-White. 35mm. 104 min.
With his pulp fiction career on the wane, novelist Holly Martins has plenty of time on his hands. So when his old school buddy Harry Lime invites him to the divided postwar Vienna, an intrigued Holly makes the trip. But when Harry, a known black-marketeer, is killed in a suspicious traffic accident, Holly’s curiosity leads him into a world of real intrigue. Rialto’s 1999 reissue (one of the company’s first projects) included the first 35mm prints of The Third Man struck in nearly 50 years, and was the US theatrical premiere of the British version, with the prologue narrated by director Reed (rather than Joseph Cotten, as in the US version).