(1949)

Critic Reviews

97

Metascore

Based on 30 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
100
Of all the movies I have seen, this one most completely embodies the romance of going to the movies.
100
Throughout the film the sense of Vienna as a frazzled echo of its glorious past is underpinned by Reed's greatest trouvaille – the discovery of Anton Karas's zither melodies, used as the only musical accompaniment. Half-jaunty, half-melancholic, they epitomise, like the film itself, a world gone sadly to seed.
100
Empire
This will haunt you. The style, the plot, the character and of course ...that tune...
100
A noir classic.
100
A triumph of disparate tones, colors and intentions. Like many, I have loved this thriller of conscience and betrayal most of my moviegoing life...Its brand of romantic fatalism is particularly seductive to teenage males, I think, and those who never fully recover from that moviegoing state of being.
100
Mr. Reed has brilliantly packaged the whole bad of his cinematic tricks, his whole range of inventive genius for making the camera expound. His eminent gifts for compressing a wealth of suggestion in single shots, for building up agonized tension and popping surprises are fully exercised. His devilishly mischievous humor also runs lightly through the film, touching the darker depressions with little glints of the gay or macabre. [3 Feb 1950, p.29]
100
It's an exciting experience, dazzling and entertaining and thought-provoking. I saw it at Cinema 21 last week and immediately wanted to see it again. I couldn't, so I started researching and read everything I could about it. It's truly great.
100
Variety
Supporting characters turn in excellent portrayals. Camera work on an exceptionally high plane, and in his painstaking direction Carol Reed lives up to his high reputation.
100
The Third Man finally endures because it offers a simple thing that so many modern films neglect: the power of story...Revolutionary film noir with a clutch of stunning central turns.
100
What has perhaps been lost over the years, however, is the cultural freshness and vitality of Reed’s masterpiece...The Third Man is important not just because of its technique but because of its theme.

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