directed by Norman Foster
USA 1943


The documentary on the making of "The Third Man" includes footage of Orson Welles saying that he did not direct any of it (the documentary also shows that most of it was filmed before Welles arrived in Vienna and that he refused to venture far into the sewers where the climax of the movie was filmed. An earlier, less revered movie in which Welles appeared, the 1942 version of Eric Ambler's spy thriller Journey into Fear certainly has an Orson Welles look — or perhaps the noirish look of "The Lady from Shanghai" and the much later "Touch of Evil" had roots in "Journey into Fear." Credited director Norman Foster had directed a series of Charlie Chan and Mr. Moto movies and also directed the superb (and subperbly titled!) "Kiss the Blood Off My Hands" (with Burt Lancaster's hands and Joan Fontaine doing the kissing). Still, I suspect that, although he received neither directing nor writing credit (credit went to Norman Foster and Joseph Cotten, respectively), some — probably much — of what is up on the screen is Welles's. However, the problem is not whodunit (directed scenes) but that there is not enough there there.

The film is too short to develop the plot (about an expert the Nazis want who is trying to flee from agents who turn up on the same boat the authorities in Turkey have put him on to safeguard him) or the international set of characters. The on-board relationships should have been developed more. All of them seem perfunctorily sketched, and the plot must be confusing to those not familiar with Eric Ambler's (best) novel. Still, I'd say that the shooting by a good marksman who misses his target and stalking him in the nightclub are combined into an altogether more satisfying single event than in the original novel. out of     

Excerpt from Steven O. Murray's Eopinions website located HERE


Theatrical Release: February 12th, 1943

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DVD Review: Éditions Montparnasse - Region 2 - PAL

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Distribution Éditions Montparnasse - Region 2 - PAL
Runtime 1:08:05
Video 1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 7.59 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s
Audio English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Dolby), DUB: French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Dolby) 
Subtitles French, None

Release Information:
Studio: RKO / Éditions Montparnasse

Aspect Ratio:
Original aspect Ratio 1.33:1

Edition Details:

• Introduction

DVD Release Date: February 3rd, 2004

Slim Transparent Keep Case
Chapters: 11



Image looks exceptionally good with only very minor haziness. Excellent black levels and grey tones and deep contrast. Original audio with an optional French DUB or French subtitles. No extras and only one menu again. This is a must-have folks. out of     

Gary W. Tooze


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