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The 4k restoration of The Third Man on EST, Blu-ray and DVD in July

2 July 2015

Studiocanal have announced that the first ever 4k restoration of The Third Man (1949) will be released on DVD and Blu-Ray in a new collector's edition on 20th July that will include more extras material than any previous version. Following its official selection in 2015 Cannes Classics, the film's UK premiere will take place at The Edinburgh Film Festival on 21st June. The UK release will take place as part of a worldwide reissue in celebration of the centenary of Orson Welles. This marks the first time that the film, once voted the "Best British film ever made" in a poll by the BFI, will be presented to audiences fully restored in 4k resolution.

Upon its release in 1949, Carol Reed's atmospheric thriller The Third Man became a classic, winning the Grand Prix at Cannes, a BAFTA for Best British Film, and the Oscar for Best Cinematography for Robert Krasker. Featuring some of cinema's most memorable set pieces and quotable lines, the film's Viennese locations quickly etch themselves in the memory – the vast sewers, the Ferris wheel, the elegant avenues of its central cemetery. The city may have been bombed out and strewn with rubble, divided into four sectors by the Allies, but it still stood tall in all its faded grandeur.

Holly Martins (Joseph Cotten), a writer of pulp Westerns, arrives in post-war Vienna on the invitation of his childhood friend Harry Lime. But on arrival he finds that Harry has recently been killed by a car whilst crossing the street, leaving a grief-stricken lover, Anna (Alida Valli). When local British investigating office Calloway (Trevor Howard) claims that Lime was an unsavoury criminal, Martins accepts an offer from a local book club to stay in Vienna in order to clear his friend's name. As he investigates his friend's last hours, he grows closer to the doomed Anna, and learns of an unidentified "third man" at the scene of the accident, who may hold the key to the deepening mystery surrounding Harry's death.

The Third Man has since been acknowledged as the masterwork of many of it's key players – Reed, Cotten, Welles as actor, and novelist/sometime screenwriter Graham Greene, who wrote the script holed up in the now legendary Sacher Hotel, where Martins stays in the film. Then unknown, composer Anton Karas was a musician for hire playing in the wine gardens of Vienna when Carol Reed first encountered him. He then brought Karas to London for 6 weeks to work on the soundtrack to the film and the resulting unique and melancholy zither score became a worldwide phenomenon in itself.

The release of The Third Man will be one of the highlights of BFI Southbank's Orson Welles season taking place between 1st July and 31st August.

The Third Man will be released on UK Blu-ray and DVD on 20th July 2015, and EST download on 13th July 2015, from Studiocanal at the RRP of £29.99 for the Blu-ray and £17.99 for the DVD.

Special features will include:

  • Audio Commentary with Guy Hamilton, Simon Callow & Angela Allen

  • Shadowing The Third Man

  • Interview & Zither Performance by Cornelia Mayer

  • The Third Man Interactive Vienna Tour

  • The Third Man on the Radio

  • Guardian NFT Interview – Joseph Cotten (Audio Only)

  • Guardian NFT Interview – Graham Greene (Audio Only)

  • Joseph Cotten's Alternate Opening Voiceover Narration

  • The Third Man – A Filmmaker's Influence

  • Restoring The Third Man

  • Dangerous Edge – Graham Greene Documentary

  • Trailer