Customer Reviews


127 Reviews
5 star:
 (97)
4 star:
 (18)
3 star:
 (5)
2 star:
 (4)
1 star:
 (3)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent package.
I see that Amazon have been merging review lists of movies with any similarity in the name, making a complete mess of product identification, so please note that this review applies to the 2-DISK SPECIAL EDITION DVD SET.

Of course I love the movie - it's in my all-time top ten, probably because of the noir visuals, the sly character and dialogue of Harry Lime,...
Published on 15 Aug 2011 by D. Milne

versus
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Studio Canal Third Man Blu-ray
Pretty disappointing Blu-ray of the Third Man. Not any better in quality really than my DVD copy or the version shown on digital television in the United States by Turner Classic Movies via digital cable. Picture quite lacking in contrast, very bland, no different from many other old black and white unrestored films shown on cable TV. Certainly didn't look like a HD...
Published on 17 July 2012 by Mandog


‹ Previous | 1 213 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Studio Canal Third Man Blu-ray, 17 July 2012
By 
Pretty disappointing Blu-ray of the Third Man. Not any better in quality really than my DVD copy or the version shown on digital television in the United States by Turner Classic Movies via digital cable. Picture quite lacking in contrast, very bland, no different from many other old black and white unrestored films shown on cable TV. Certainly didn't look like a HD release of a restored film master. Details were OK, pretty sharp, but nothing like I have seen on other restored old films transferred to Blu-ray where you can't believe the fine detail, seeing the pores and tiny wrinkles on peoples faces and subtle textures in clothing. I had to boost my HD TV contrast up high to get an approximation of a decent picture, and that was not very satisfactory. I would only recommend this to someone who does not already own a good DVD of the film, this Blu-ray won't look much better. It is not bad, just a disappointment for a Blu-ray. Also, my disc cover states English subtitles, but the subtitle menu on my disc only shows German, Spanish, French and Dutch or no subtitles, so you may not have English subtitles. My disc is a Spanish Studio Canal Blu-ray release by Universal, and the cover states "perfect image". Well, that is certainly a gross exaggeration and let down for a film fan of movies from the 30s through 50s who has many many hundreds of old films in his collection. I have numerous Blu-rays of old black and white films and TV shows that look better than this one. Also, Studio Canal has one of those long obnoxious forced ads for their other releases at disc startup that you cannot skip over or get to the menu from, but must fast forward to get past. Hopefully I can come across a copy of the Criterion Blu-ray of this film somewhere. Not an impressive introduction to Studio Canal Blu-ray, give this a pass if you already have a DVD version.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent package., 15 Aug 2011
By 
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Third Man: Special Edition [DVD] [1949] (DVD)
I see that Amazon have been merging review lists of movies with any similarity in the name, making a complete mess of product identification, so please note that this review applies to the 2-DISK SPECIAL EDITION DVD SET.

Of course I love the movie - it's in my all-time top ten, probably because of the noir visuals, the sly character and dialogue of Harry Lime, plus his famous entrance to the movie, and the unique Anton Karas zither score. I can see why some find the latter annoying: it's the kind of music that can go on and on in your head forever! But hey, I love it anyway.

The quality of this transfer is excellent, the picture is stable and clean, the audio quality is likewise. I see that others have complained about picture quality in a different release, so I just wanted to emphasise that the special edition does not have that problem.

The special edition comes with a retrospective making-of documentary which was certainly quite interesting, though obviously limited in what it can do now that just about everyone involved has since passed away.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


48 of 51 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good BD, but Criterion showed it could have been better, 1 Oct 2010
This is a review of the first BD release of "The Third Man" not to be Region A locked, coming after Criterion's Region A locked transfer which is now out of print after their rights to the title expired and were subsequently bought up by Studio Canal.

I have not seen Criterion's BD, but having compared still screenshots from the Criterion release, I must admit that thís version does appear inferior, but not vastly so. Generally the image quality is very good for a 61 year old film. Close-ups are often very richly detailed, showing texture, sharpness and well balanced b/w tones. Welles's agonised face seeking a way out in the sewer, Valli lying in bed before her re-arrest and many shots of Cotten digesting new revelations are the stuff of HD dreams. But some mid-range shots are a little disappointing, particularly bright outdoor shots (e.g. some graveyard scenes) where the contrast is a little wonky and there is some unsettling image softness, which occasionally looks as though some DNR might have been applied. That is not to say that the film is grain-free, and the grain that is present is never likely to offend any but the most sensitive.

The best news is that the most iconic scenes seem to have come out of this transfer best: Harry Lime appearing in the doorway, the ferris wheel scenes, and the sewer chase all look really rather splendid. The detail on the stones of the sewer interior is very impressive at times.

The worst news is that more detail clearly was possible. The texture of people's coats looks more detailed and real in Criterion shots. Those who have seen it report better contrasts and richer blacks; although the blacks in this version are actually quite solid, and the screenshots I have seen don't make it clear that contrasts are much better. But another issue is supposedly better treatment of print damage in the Criterion release. Here Studio Canal have left in cracks such as thin black vertical lines, which I noticed a few times in the film's final half hour. Quite frankly, I think I could have restored those fairly easily if I broke the discs's protection and loaded it into a video editor. This was lazy and sloppy on the part of Studio Canal.

On the audio front, there is little to complain about with a DTS HD Master Audio stereo track that conveys the dialogue, the iconic zither music and the relatively limited sound field very well indeed. Superbly balanced and crisp sounding for a film of this age. It is just a shame that they did not also offer the option of the original mono soundtrack. And, of course, the scene on the sewer where Lime considers his options with sounds coming from all angles makes you wonder whether a surround track would have been a worthwhile option - Disney, after all, manage it with much older films.

Extras are pretty good, although less generous than with Criterion. One gripe is that the alternative opening monologue scene (spoken by Cotten) is artificially stretched to widescreen, unlike the rest of the film which is presented in the correct OAR of 4:3. It also irritated me that the packaging seems so cheap. It is a book-style packet, and the rear info sheet is a piece of paper which has been glued onto the book's back cover and hangs loose!

All in all, this is a good transfer of "The Third Man", but Criterion showed how to do it better. Canal should have paid to use their transfer since they were incapable of matching or surpassing it. Perfectionists (rich perfectionists) might consider getting the Criterion release. But as an out-of-print title, this is now very expensive, and if you need a Region A/Region free machine too, then like myself you might decide to settle for the second-best "Third Man".

Just a little grudgingly recommended :-)
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


51 of 56 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars wonderfully atmospheric, 11 Feb 2007
By 
Mr. Ian A. Macfarlane "almac1975" (Fife, Scotland) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Third Man: Special Edition [DVD] [1949] (DVD)
This glorious film is a true classic, and a historic document as well as marvellous cinema, with its footage of post-War Vienna, a divided and unhappy city beginning to come to terms with itself. Everything about it is memorable - the naggingly catchy zither tune by Anton Karas which opens it (the Harry Lime theme), the eerie black and white photography, Graham Greene's excellently mysterious plotline, and in particular the performances, not so much of Joseph Cotten, who is fine and doesn't let the side down, as of Trevor Howard trying to make good British sense of an out-of-control situation, Alida Valli as Lime's doomed, tragic, world-weary, stunning girlfriend and Orson Welles as Harry Lime himelf, one of the most memorably delayed entries in all cinema, seductive and sinister at the same time. It is beautiful to the eye and completely compelling, one of the very great films.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Greeneland at its most bleak and exquisite, 20 April 2012
By 
Aidan J. McQuade (Ireland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Third Man: Special Edition [DVD] [1949] (DVD)
At the end of the Second World War Holly Martens (Joseph Cotton), a hack Western writer, arrives in Vienna on the promise of a job from his childhood friend Harry Lime. On his arrival in Vienna however he discovers that Harry is dead and being buried that very morning. Dissatisfied by the police explanations of what happened to his friend Holly starts clumsily poking around himself.

The Third Man is based on a Graham Greene story, but Greene was gracious enough to say that the movie is a better version of the story than the subsequent novella. Part of the reason for this was the presence of Orson Welles, adding both his considerable charisma to the film as well as his writing skills, most notably on the famous "cuckoo clock" speech by which his character explains his view of morality to Holly.

The novel is written from the perspective of a military police investigator Calloway (Trevor Howard). The movie, however, takes Holly's perspective and communicates brilliantly his sense of disorientation in an unfamiliar city - every camera angle is slightly off-kilter - and of isolation - just about everyone speaks (unsubtitled) German.

On top of all of this the cinematography of post war Vienna, reaching a climax in the sewers of the city, is exquisite and the zither soundtrack is a stroke of genius.

This is a funny, beautiful, exciting and bleak work of cinema, replete with Greene's trademark concerns of morality, Catholicism and betrayal. It is probably the greatest British movie every made and another contender for my list of greatest final scenes of all time.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Third Man DVD, 16 Jan 2012
By 
Alan (London, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Third Man: Special Edition [DVD] [1949] (DVD)
This edition is excellent: there are two dvds, one explaining the background to the research and making of the film and the other the film itself. "The Shadow of the The Third Man" contributes greatly to the appreciation of one of the classics of British film making - especially illuminating regarding Orson Welles' contributions and the interpretation of the ending.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect cinema - perfect DVD release!, 20 Feb 2007
By 
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Third Man: Special Edition [DVD] [1949] (DVD)
About time. This superb and glowing DVD release of THE THIRD MAN finally does the film justice. For lyrical reviews read the others on here, but for unbridled enthusiasm, take my word for it - if you haven't got a copy of this classic, then this is the issue to have. Unbeatable!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


43 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Perfect Movie, 23 Sep 2007
By 
M. Dowden (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Third Man: Special Edition [DVD] [1949] (DVD)
This is the best British movie ever made, and is sheer enjoyment to watch. Based on a story by Graham Greene we are taken into the occupation of Vienna after the second world war. A story of black-marketeering, mistaken identity and a man wanting to solve what is happening around him. Orson Welles is on top form as Harry Lime, the main protagonist in one of his best roles. The scenes of a post-war Vienna are fantastic and everything in this movies jells together. All the acting is excellant and the cat and mouse story is more than enough to keep you gripped to your seat.

Carol Reed's masterpiece shows us what true drama is all about. Unfortunately Hollywood have never really learned from what is a masterclass in film-making, in what makes perfection.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Could do better...., 1 May 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Absolutely love the film, it's an all-time classic....however, the blu-ray is a letdown....there are more extras on the DVD and the picture quality is not significantly improved....better to stick with the DVD version!!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "The Third Man" on BLU RAY - Compatibility Problems With Some Issues For UK Buyers..., 1 Mar 2014
By 
Mark Barry "Mark Barry" - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
As you've probably gathered most of the reviews are for the 'DVD' version of the classic 1949 Orson Wells masterpiece “The Third Man”. And the ‘BLU RAY’ has been available in both the States and other territories for some time now. But if you live in the UK – then which is the best issue to buy?

Unfortunately the desirable USA Criterion issue is REGION-A LOCKED. So it WILL NOT PLAY on most UK BLU RAY players unless they're chipped to play 'all' regions (which the vast majority aren't). Don’t confuse BLU RAY players that have multi-region capability on the 'DVD' front – that won’t help.

Luckily the beautifully presented Studio Canal edition is REGION B – so will play on UK machines (and uses the same restored elements).

So check before purchasing the now ultra-expensive Criterion release if your BLU RAY player is able to play REGION A discs...otherwise plum for the UK book version on SC…
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 213 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

The Third Man: Special Edition [DVD] [1949]
The Third Man: Special Edition [DVD] [1949] by Robert Krasker (DVD - 2006)
9.25
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews