A book in celebration of The Third Man - voted the 'Best Film British Film Ever' in the BFI millennium poll
Fifty years after its opening in 1949 The Third Man remains unsurpassed as a masterpiece of British cinema. Whether it is Harry Lime's magical first appearance, or the celebrated cuckoo clock speech, or the climactic chase through the sewers beneath Vienna, or the haunting theme music of Anton Karas, the film contains some of the most memorable moments in movie history.
Bringing together such strong and disparate personalities as Graham Greene, Carol Reed, Orson Welles, David Selznick and Sir Alexander Korda, the film was an example of a group endeavour that depended as much on chance as design. At times the planning and making seemed more like a battle than a collaboration. And although the circumstances of its making were dramatic and eventful, until now that story has never been fully told. Drawing on both contemporary documents and accounts of the people involved, In Search of The Third Man explores the many myths that over the years have grown around this extraordinary piece of cinema, and seeks to unravel the facts from the fiction.
This is the story not only of a film, but of a pivotal moment in twentieth-century history. Capturing with documentary precision the look and feel of a war-torn Vienna, The Third Man mirrored all the uncertainties and confusions of its time and anticipated the mood of the post-war age.
'This book will enhance the enjoyment of everyone who sees The Third Man... Greene and particularly Reed would surely have approved. There can be no higher praise'
'As good as a night at the pictures...Drazin has written an invaluable and well-illustrated chapter of film history, with a cast of colourful characters, a plot that's full of intrigue, conflict and humour and the pace of a page-turning novel.'
'Thorough and fascinating'
The Daily Telegraph