Evan Saathoff’s review:
I can't offer too many declarative opinions on this one yet as I've just finished watching and it definitely needs to slosh around my head for awhile. In other words, I'm not sure I liked it much, but in a couple days I might love it.
My core issue is with how to read Joseph Cotton's Holly Martins a character I found completely annoying. That seems to be a huge part of the point, but since the first hour consists of his American naivety, ignorance, and arrogance, I found myself pretty bored with the whole investigation section of this story, beyond, I fear, the film's intentions.
But what are the film's intentions? That's the central question that will be occupying my mind for a while. Do we root for or against Harry Lime? Do we root for or against Holly? The obvious answer is neither and both. My personal favorite character is Trevor Howard's Major Calloway, but I have no idea what the film thinks of him. Furthermore, is this a series film or a dark satire. The score, especially early on, ensures a certain amount of levity, and the film soars when it comes to quick comedy dialog jabs. But that ending...
I need to see it again, hopefully someday on the big screen where it belongs. Until then I'll remain intrigued but unsure.