Third Man, The

MPAA Rating: PG

Entertainment: +2 1/2

Content: +3

This film has not been rated by the MPAA. The PG rating is Preview's own designation based on the film's content and theme.

On the occasion of its 50th anniversary, Carol Reeds 1949 classic film THE THIRD MAN has been fully restored and remastered for re-release in American theaters. Set in a bombed-out, post war Vienna, THE THIRD MAN stars Joseph Cotton as Holly Martins, a writer of pulp Westerns. He comes to Vienna penniless, as a guest of his childhood friend Harry Lime (Orsen Welles). But he arrives to find Harry dead. Searching for answers, Martins develops a conspiracy theory after learning a third man was present at the time of Harrys death. His investigation, however, is thwarted by a British officer (Trevor Howard). And, along the way, he falls head-over-heels for Harrys grief-stricken lover (Alida Valli). Ultimately, Martins search for the third man leads to a startling discovery about Harry and a difficult betrayal of friendship. Ranked as number 57 on the American Film Institutes list of the 100 greatest movies of all time, THE THIRD MAN brings the golden age of movies back with definite style. And while more mature audiences will be carried back to a time gone by, even younger viewers will be fascinated by this black-and-white mystery thriller.

A remarkable cinematic achievement for its time, much of the film was shot on location in Vienna just after the war. It represents very poignantly the moral and political unrest in a post-war Europe divided among the four allied forces. The ravages of war led to illegal profiteering and, for many, a cheapened view of humanity, as with the racketeering Harry Lime. There are few questionable elements in this classic film. However, customary of the day, cigarette smoking and social drinking is shown throughout the film. And one reference is made to a stripper, as well as an exotic dancer shown in a very revealing outfit. A man is also shot, both on and off-screen. But none of these elements are graphic or gratuitous. Its definitely worth a trip to your local arts theater to see this classic film, THE THIRD MAN, on the big screen.

Preview Reviewer: Cliff McNeely
Rialto Pictures, (212) 343-9973

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: None

Obscene Language: None

Profanity: None

Violence: Few times Moderate (man punched, man shot both on and off-screen)

Sex: None

Nudity: None; Near Nudity: Exotic dancer in revealing outfit

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Once (reference to a strip show)

Drugs: Many times (cigarette smoking, social drinking, drunkenness once)

Other: Different European accents difficult to understand, filmed in black-and-white, represents moral and political unrest in post-war Europe

Running Time: 104 minutes
Intended Audience: Adults

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