Cinephiles the world over will stop and take notice upon learning of this privately operated Vienna museum dedicated solely to the celebration of director Carol Reed’s 1949 noir classic, The Third Man.
Reed’s film is universally renowned. The conventional wisdom that holds that there is no accounting for taste simply doesn’t apply here (or, if you like, is proven by exception). Among its many honors (the Grand Prix at Cannes, Best Film at the British Academy Awards, an Oscar for Best Cinematography, etc.), the film was selected as the best British film of the 20th century by the British Film Institute in 1999.
The 3rd Man Museum [sic] is essentially an institutional tribute to the film’s writer (Graham Greene), Reed, and stars Joseph Cotton, Alida Valli, and, most significantly, Orson Welles, who, despite failing to appear until the final act of the film, nonetheless gives one the most memorable performances of his career.
The collection on display is broken down into four categories: cinema (which explores the relevant cinema history), stars (examining the lives and work of the actors), music (celebrating the film’s spectacular soundtrack and various unforgettable themes), and occupation (featuring a closer look at what life was like in post-war Vienna).
If you aren’t a fan of The Third Man (to wit, you haven’t seen it), this particular museum may not be for you, but for the rest of us, it’s a must-see. Hours of operation are limited (Saturday 2 p.m.-6 p.m.) and admission is approximately ten dollars, with discounts for children, seniors, students, and groups.