class=”alignleft size-medium wp-image-42435″ title=”The Third Man Blu-ray” src=”×300.jpg” alt=”” width=”241″ height=”241″ />The quality possessed by the films Studio Canal have selected for release on Blu-ray is undeniable, what is intriguing about the current crop of cinematic offerings is what they share. They are films which define their genre and time, and in these new versions they are treated with a serious love for their disparate elements as much as for the high standards of artistic success they achieve.

The Studio Canal Collection are releasing The Third Man, Mulholland Drive, The Graduate, Delicatessen and The Pianist on Blu-ray on the 13th of September and we’ll be reviewing these releases over the course of the week.

The Third Man concerns us with ferris wheels and Orson Welles, Vienna after the war and its ghosts. We have Joseph Cotten as Holly Martins chasing the spectre of his friend Harry Lime through subterranean labyrinths and vacant, shadows strewn streets as a mystery unfolds with clockwork efficiency.

It is a classic film noir, with performances and a script which grip your interest by the throat and don’t stop holding until the final frame. It is one of the few films I can recommend to anyone, regardless of age or genre preference – The Third Man is a truly wonderful film, and it can be enjoyed over and over because the thrill is in the game played out, not just the result.

The black and white is crystal clear and the ruined city unfolds as Cotten delves into the mystery of the death of his friend, and the lauded set pieces are a joy. If you’ve not seen this film and have a blu-ray player kicking around this is the way to discover the film.

Director Carol Reed has an embarrassment of riches here, with Joseph Cotten and Orson Welles on particularly fine form, making the most of Graham Greene’s story and screenplay, Reed and his cinematographer Robert Krasker cast an illuminating eye over Vienna which looks spectacular on this Blu-ray and the extras on the disc complete what is easily the finest version of this exceptional film.

From the in depth look at the history of The Third Man to the interview material and the alternative opening narration from Joseph Cotten, Studio Canal’s care with the disc allows the viewer to continue their journey beyond the final credits. It’s a great experience, thrilling and timeless and highly recommended.

Special Features:
– Original Trailer 1
– Original Trailer 2
– Shadowing the Third Man
– The Third Man on the Radio with Orson Welles
– Audio commentary with Guy Hamilton (Assistant Director), Simon Callow and Angela Allen (2nd Unit Continuity)
– Joseph Cotton’s Alternate Opening Voiceover Narration
– Stills Gallery
– The Third Man Interactive Vienna Tour
– Interview and zither performance by Cornelia Mayer
– Guardian NFT Interview with Joseph Cotton (Audio only)
– Guardian NFT Interview with Graham Greene (Audio only)