The Third Man - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Third Man Reviews

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October 12, 2016
One of the greats. A masterclass in editing. My only bugbear is it clips along too quickly with never a quiet moment. Hugely visual with a dialogue so rapid the characters inhabit a silent film. But the best films can be judged as silents, so it works whichever way.
August 19, 2016
A dazzling, intricate, nearly-perfect movie. Among its strongest points is one that I treasure highly in stories and films, namely the respect of a writer and director for the intelligence of an audience and our capacity to handle complexity and ambiguity.
August 4, 2016
The best in his genre, good actors and even better plot
July 19, 2016
Maybe I'm dumb, but I was bored from beginning to end and immediately forgot this movie after it was over.
July 16, 2016
This movie was wonderful! I was engaged the whole time. Nothing felt to rushed or slow. The acting was wonderfully. It was just perfect. Would love to watch everyday for the rest of my life.
July 9, 2016
An absolute classic. I can't think of another better film; everything from the acting, photography, script, direction, music and location. It is so perfect that like a good joke or great sex, trying to rationalise it is probably pointless.
June 11, 2016
On paper, this is a movie that i should love immediately, the plot seems fantastic, i love Carol Reed, i love all of the actors, and this has been one of my most anticipated movies since the first time i laid eyes on the IMDb page. I watched it for the first time, yesterday, and it didnt do anything for me. What a massive disappointment.

How can people even think this movie is perfect? My personal predjudices aside, just basic things i hated:

The music is awful, and extremely out of place, even in suspenseful moments, that ^&#*@ stupid cider music is always playing. It is so out of place!

The acting is stiff and mediocre from the whole cast at best (Expect Orson Welles ofcourse)

The overuse of dutch angels really irritated me, how can people say that the cinematography is flawless, when there is such an obvious one like this.

and personally, i found the first hour to be damn near unwatchable because of how bonedry story telling it was.

This film is like The Dark Knight, if you take away 1 great performance, there is nothing left
May 26, 2016
The Third Man holds up fine, its just that its story's just predictable and cliched by todays standards. The cinematography is quite impressive tho
½ April 11, 2016
The Third Man is one of the finest noir mysteries to come out of the '40s, however it suffers a bit from its imitators and you'll be able to predict the big reveal LONG before it arrives. The film stars Joseph Cotten, who I was unfamiliar with, as a pulp fiction writer who travels to Vienna to visit an old friend and is astonished to find that he was accidentally killed a few days prior; or was it murder? The film plays out patiently, as our protagonist begins to dig into what exactly happened to his friend and the mystery elements truly shine, especially when he receives different accounts of what took place in the automobile "accident". The film also stars Orson Welles as the aforementioned friend, Harry Lime, who receives top billing though he is maybe on-screen for 8 minutes total: which leads into my big problem with this film. Without spoiling too much, the reveal that arrives at about the one hour mark is masterfully done and one of the film's more iconic scenes, but we're never given any explanation as to what the motive was and it feels like the filmmakers were trying to be so clever, they didn't worry about the scenario making sense. The film also incorporates a stringed instrument called a zither to score the music and while I can tell they were going for something unique, the sound is too absurd, especially in the more dramatic scenes, and the music actually sounds identical to the music used in SpongeBob SquarePants! Overall, this is an exceptionally-made film that still holds up today, but there are some questionable moments that stood out to me and it suffers a bit from what's come out since.
April 1, 2016
The cinematography is absolutely insane & innovative even through today.... great acting, blown away by this movie.
March 23, 2016
Perfect... Just perfect.
March 19, 2016
The best classic cinema has to offer. Film noir perfection.
March 1, 2016
My favourite ever performance, my favourite ever photography. The film that made me into a buff and a must-see for anyone who hasn't.
½ February 28, 2016
A stunning example of film noir at its very best. Everything about this film was extremely well-done, overall it is almost total perfection. Definitely lives up to its classic status.
February 20, 2016
Amazing cinematography, great dialogue and one of the most famous final shots in all of cinema.
January 30, 2016
Another masterpiece of film noir cinema, and although i didnt understand everything about the plot line, i still found it interesting. The performances by Orson Welles and Joseph Cotten are excellent and the post war atmosphere of the film is just pretty. Although some scenes can be really boring and there isnt really that much action in this film, it is a good film noir classic and recommended !!
January 28, 2016
WOW......WOW......WOW.....WOW.......STUNNING.......BRILLIANT......AMAZING......GENIUS......SUPERB.......I HAVE JUST SEEN THIS MOVIE 4 THE 1ST TIME N THINK THAT THIS IS SUCH A FANTASTIC MOVIE 2 WATCH,......its got a good cast of actors/actresses throughout this movie......I think that joseph cotten (.R.I.P.), alida valli (.R.I.P.), orson welles (.R.I.P.), trevor howard (.R.I.P.), Bernard lee (.R.I.P.), play good roles/part throughout this movie........I think that the director of this mystery/suspense/classics movie had done a fantastic job of directing this movie because you never know what 2 expect throughout this movie.......I think that this is such a gripping/thrilling/highly suspenseful movie 2 watch as the director keeps you on the edges of your seats throughout this movie......

The atmospheric use of black-and-white expressionist cinematography by Robert Krasker, with harsh lighting and distorted "Dutch angle" camera angles, is a key feature of The Third Man. Combined with the unique theme music, seedy locations and acclaimed performances from the cast, the style evokes the atmosphere of an exhausted, cynical, post-war Vienna at the start of the Cold War. Some critics at the time criticised the film's unusual camera angles. C. A. Lejeune in The Observer described Reed's "habit of printing his scenes askew, with floors sloping at a diagonal and close-ups deliriously tilted" as "most distracting". American director William Wyler, Reed's close friend, sent him a spirit level, with a note saying, "Carol, next time you make a picture, just put it on top of the camera, will you?"

Box office
In the United Kingdom, The Third Man was the most popular film at the British box office for 1949. In Austria, "local critics were underwhelmed", and the film ran for only a few weeks. Still, the Viennese Arbeiter-Zeitung, although critical of a "not-too-logical plot", praised the film's "masterful" depiction of a "time out of joint" and the city's atmosphere of "insecurity, poverty and post-war immorality". William Cook, after his 2006 visit to an eight-room museum in Vienna dedicated to the film, wrote "In Britain it's a thriller about friendship and betrayal. In Vienna it's a tragedy about Austria's troubled relationship with its past."

Critical reception
Upon its release in Britain and America, the film received overwhelmingly positive reviews. Time magazine said that the film was "crammed with cinematic plums that would do the early Hitchcock proud-ingenious twists and turns of plot, subtle detail, full-bodied bit characters, atmospheric backgrounds that become an intrinsic part of the story, a deft commingling of the sinister with the ludicrous, the casual with the bizarre." Bosley Crowther, after a prefatory qualification that the film was "designed [only] to excite and entertain", wrote that Reed "brilliantly packaged the whole bag of his cinematic tricks, his whole range of inventive genius for making the camera expound. His eminent gifts for compressing a wealth of suggestion in single shots, for building up agonized tension and popping surprises are fully exercised. His devilishly mischievous humor also runs lightly through the film, touching the darker depressions with little glints of the gay or macabre." One very rare exception was the British communist paper Daily Worker (later the Morning Star), which complained that "no effort is spared to make the Soviet authorities as sinister and unsympathetic as possible."

Critics today have hailed the film as a masterpiece. Roger Ebert added the film to his "Great Movies" list and wrote, "Of all the movies that I have seen, this one most completely embodies the romance of going to the movies." In a special episode of Siskel & Ebert in 1994 discussing film villains, Ebert named Lime as his favourite film villain. Gene Siskel remarked that it was an "exemplary piece of moviemaking, highlighting the ruins of World War II and juxtaposing it with the characters' own damaged histories". James Berardinelli has also praised the film, calling the film a "must-see" for lovers of film noir.

WARNING THIS MOVIE CONTAIN STROBE LIGHTNING EFFECTS THROUGHOUT SOME SCENES THORUGHOUT THIS this is such a gripping enjoyable movie 2 watch, its got such a fantastic cast throughout this movie, it is such a classics thriller movie 2 watch with a brilliant cast throughout this movie.......
January 17, 2016
If Carol Reed doesn't manage to keep your attention through 104 minutes of fine art with an exquisitely written plot-twisty script and excellent photography direction, this iconic film-noir masterpiece will surely manage to charm you with sublime performances. It unfolds sensibly, with cold characters that never exaggerate emotions or open up themselves too much and thus make the story look effortless in its brilliance. They are all involved, in their own ways, in nihilist moral systems that compliment the dark, post-war Vienna shot in a visionary and innovating way. It is, as 'the fellow' says, in extreme badass.
Its only possible con may be that due to the style of rushed storytelling modern cinema follows, 'The Third Man' may result a bit dense and slow to some, specially those used to non-thought-provoking movies.
Anyway it is definitely one highly recommendable picture, full of thrill and suspense and aforementioned great acting. An authentic classic, nothing new to its excellence.
January 16, 2016
Definitely a recommendable watch, the film still holds its own by today's standards, a fine example of narrative prowess and spot-on cinematography.
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