On its release in 1949, Carol Reed’s atmospheric film noir thriller The Third Man instantly became a classic, winning the Palm d’Or at Cannes, a BAFTA for Best British Film, and the Oscar for Best Cinematography. Featuring some of cinema’s most memorable set pieces and quotable lines, the film’s war-torn Viennese locations quickly etch themselves in the memory—the vast sewers, the Ferris wheel, the tree-lined cemetery. It marks one of those unusual conjunctions of script, director, subject, cast, and setting—and, of course, music—in which everything works.
In time for the movie’s 75th anniversary, this beautiful, illustrated book comprehensively covers the making of the movie, acknowledged as the masterwork of many of its key players: Carol Reed as director; cast members including Joseph Cotton and Orson Welles; novelist/screenwriter Graham Greene; and composer of the instantly recognizable zither score Anton Karas. The battle for ownership of the film between US producer David O. Selznick and the British producer Alexander Korda, which developed into protracted legal proceedings, is explored, as is the lasting influence the movie has had on modern filmmakers, such as Martin Scorsese. Author and filmmaker John Walsh has uncovered unpublished photos and new interviews on the identity of the real-life Third Man, making this stunning book a must-have for any film fan.