25 April 2012 7:03 AM, PDT | The Playlist | See recent The Playlist news »

Thirty-six years ago today, on April 25th, 1976, filmmaker Carol Reed passed away. One of the greatest directors ever to come out of the U.K., Reed started out as an actor, but gained fame as a writer-director in the late 1930s and 1940s, thanks to films like "Night Train To Munich," and the outstanding "Odd Man Out" and "The Fallen Idol." Later, he'd also find success with films like "Trapeze," "Our Man In Havana," "The Agony and the Ecstasy" and "Oliver!," for which he won the Academy Award for Best Director, beating out Stanley Kubrick's "2001" and Gillo Pontecorvo's "The Battle of Algiers."

But Reed's undisputed masterpiece is "The Third Man," a 1949 film noir based on a screenplay by the great British writer Graham Greene. The film involves a writer of Westerns, Holly Martins (Joseph Cotten), who comes to post-war Vienna after being promised a job by his childhood friend Harry Lime. »

- Oliver Lyttelton

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