THE THIRD MAN: This Graham Green classic returns to theaters

The_Third_Man_1-a57e96ca832ab69f5890b6b86b14506bTHE THIRD MAN, Carol Reed’s 1949 classic is not only returning to theaters, but getting some serious tender love and care before doing so.

Rialto Pictures have announced they are giving THE THIRD MAN a 4k restoration before it comes to a theater near you. TTM will begin it’s run at New York’s Film Forum on June 26 (2-week run) and L.A.’s Nuart on July 3. Engagements in San Francisco, Washington, DC, Seattle, Philadelphia and other major markets will follow.

A rare collaboration of legendary producers Alexander Korda and David O. Selznick, THE THIRD MAN was Reed’s second teaming with novelist/screenwriter Graham Greene. An instant critical and commercial sensation, it won the Palme D’Or at Cannes, the British Film Academy’s Best British Film award, and an Academy Award for Robert Krasker’s expressionist, now iconic b&w cInematography, and was also Oscar-nominated for Best Director.Anton Karas’ haunting “Third Man Theme,” performed by the composer on a zither, was a worldwide hit.

THE THIRD MAN remains the only movie on both the American Film Institute and British Film Institute Top 100 lists of, respectively, the greatest American and British films of all time (the Brits named it their Number One), as well as being as well as being named The Greatest Foreign Film of All Time… by the Japanese.

The award-winning team at Deluxe Restoration carried out the new 4K digital restoration of THE THIRD MAN on behalf of Studiocanal. Following rigorous comparison of different available elements, the 4K scan was done from a fine grain master positive struck from the original negative. Release prints were used as a reference for the grading.

Now I imagine that some of you are asking What does 4k mean? That is an excellent question, when I first heard of it, I had to do some searching to find a good explanation. Here is what UC: Berkly had to say:

what we see in digitally equipped movie theaters is high-definition digital cinema. It’s termed 2K, meaning a picture standard that produces an image that is 1920 x 1080 pixels or just over two million bits of information. However, there is a standard beyond 2K that is used for scanning older films called 4K, which contains about eight million bits of screen info. This same 4K standard is used for film restoration because it allows for the manipulation of picture elements at a level far superior to its general exhibition format. Occasionally, as in this series, 4K is used as an exhibition format for special screenings.

I will confess that my first viewing of this film was only a half dozen years ago, but I was blown away and have rewatched, to remind myself what great film-making looks like, a few times since. When we have more dates, we will pass them on.