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Monday, September 3

DOUBLE FEATURE: Two films for one admission. Tickets purchased entitle patrons to stay and see the following film at no additional charge.


12:30   4:50   9:15       

(1949, Carol Reed) In rubble-strewn postwar Vienna, its occupation divided among four powers, Joseph Cotton’s pulp Western writer Holly Martins arrives to meet up with his old friend Harry Lime, only to find that he’s dead – or is he? And as the supremely naïve Cotton, a monoglot stranger in a strange land, descends through the levels of deception, and as he discovers his own friend’s corruption, the moral choices loom. A triumph of atmosphere – with its Vienna locations (including the gigantic Riesenrad ferris wheel and the dripping sewers), its tilted camera angles, its Robert Krasker-shot shadows, and Anton Karas’ unforgettable zither theme – and with its stars in perhaps their most iconic roles: bereted Trevor Howard as his most Britishly military; Alida Valli, here truly enigmatic and Garboesque; and Welles’ Harry Lime, arriving in one of the greatest star entrances ever, and adding the famous “cuckoo clock” speech to Greene’s original script, with the whole topped by its legendary, almost endlessly drawn-out final shot. Three Oscar nominations: for director Reed, editor Oswald Hafenrichter, and cinematographer Krasker, with a win for the latter; the Grand Prize at Cannes; and the only film on both the AFI and BFI Top 100 lists of, respectively, the greatest American and British films (#1 for the Brits), as well as being named The Greatest Foreign Film of All Time… by the Japanese! 35mm. Approx. 104 min.


“The supreme movie about the night world, the ultimate example of that shining-streets-and-lurking-shadows ‘realism.’”
– David Denby

“You can smell the sewers, the fear, and the mistrust in Vienna. A time and a place were captured; scenario and locale were stirred, like cream going into dark coffee.”
– David Thomson

Welles haunts each scene: everywhere and invisible, he’s a smirking Cheshire cat of a villain, a superb case study in shameless charisma as poisonous contagion.”
– Ben Walters, Time Out (London)

“No matter how many times I saw it over the years its magic never failed. I kept discovering dark new delights, and the classic moments remained every bit as classic. I can only envy the viewer who gets to encounter Reed’s movie for the first time.”
– David Ansen


2:35   7:00       

(1947, Carol Reed) Snow drifting down a once-elegant stairwell from a broken skylight; a little girl with only a single roller skate; a seemingly omnipresent clock tower that counts down the hours to a midnight resolution: and a bank job to fill the coffers of the Organisation (the IRA, though unnamed) gone sour: one mad is dead, Cyril Cusack and Dan O’Herlihy panic and go on the booze, and James Mason’s Johnny McQueen is badly wounded and on the run. And as his path to Calvary run on from sunny afternoon to pouring evening to snowy night, it moves from suspenseful Noir to the almost surreal, while he’s sought by icy policeman Denis O’Dea, unspoken lover Kathleen Ryan, and ally Robert Beatty, with Good Samaritan Fay Compton dressing his wounds, bum F.J. McCormick calculating what he’s worth, bartender William Hartnell wanting him out, and barmy artist Robert Newton trying to paint his look of death – but is there a ship out? 35mm. Approx. 115 min.


“The most complex manhunt ever filmed.”
– Pauline Kael

“Among the greatest movies of world cinema… A complex, doom-laden thriller.”
– Phillip French, The Observer

Film Forum