The post-World War Two thriller classic The Third Man has gotten a brand spanking new 4K restoration, it was announced today on the 100th anniversary of the birth of it’s star Orson Welles. The remastered version of director Carole Reed’s 1949 film will premier at the Cannes Film Festival later this month, 66 years after it won the Festival’s Palme D’Or prize. It will later open in New York City June 26 and Los Angeles July 3.
Welles’ frequent acting collaborator Joseph Cotton stars as pulp writer Holly Martins who journeys to Allied-occupied Vienna at the request of his friend Harry Lime (Welles) who contacted him with a job offer. Arriving, Martins discovers that Lime has been killed in a seeming accident. Ignoring warnings, Martins begins to investigate Lime’s death and quickly finds out that nothing is as it seems.
This is a good time to be a fan of the iconic director, as The Other Side Of The Wind, the film that Welles had been struggling to complete in the years leading up to his death, is reportedly close to being finished off by Welles’ friend, biographer and fellow film director Peter Bogdonavich.
I suppose it does seem odd that the one film that Welles is noted for that wasn’t directed by Welles himself is the one that is announced to be undergoing restoration on his birthday. Still, it is a film that is firmly attached to the actor/director’s legacy, having earned the British Film Academy’s prize for best British Film award and an Academy Award for Robert Krasker’s expressionistic black-and-white cinematography.