The Third Man

Welles did not direct The Third Man, yet audiences can be forgiven for remembering Carol Reed's cynical masterpiece, written by Graham Greene, as a “Welles film.” Welles's character, Harry Lime, has one of the great entrances in cinema, and the shadow of his presence looms over the plot like the giant Ferris wheel over the ruins of postwar Vienna. The story centers on the search for the elusive Lime by his old friend Holly Martins (Joseph Cotten), a quest that culminates, appropriately, in the sewers. Seeing this restored print of the British version on the big screen, Elvis Mitchell wrote in the New York Times, “is like watching it for the first time. . . . (It) takes on even more resonance after beholding the theatrical scale and trickiness of Robert Krasker's revolutionary black-and-white cinematography, guided by Reed's steady and innovative direction. . . . Few movies hold up as startlingly well as this mixture of perversity, anxiety, guilt, and adventure.”

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