View full screen - View 1 of Lot 40. GREENE--REED | The Third Man, 1969, inscribed by Orson Welles.

GREENE--REED | The Third Man, 1969, inscribed by Orson Welles

GREENE--REED | The Third Man, 1969, inscribed by Orson Welles

GREENE--REED | The Third Man, 1969, inscribed by Orson Welles


The Third Man. Lorrimer, 1969

8vo, FIRST EDITION OF THE FILM SCRIPT, PRESENTATION COPY INSCRIBED BY ORSON WELLES NEXT TO THE CELEBRATED 'CUCKOO CLOCK' SPEECH ("For | Reg [Gadney] | best wishes | Orson Welles.") , illustrated with stills from the film, original pictorial wrappers, some pencil markings, extremities very slightly worn

A RARE COPY OF THE "THIRD MAN" SCRIPT INSCRIBED BY WELLES. In one of the most celebrated films of all time, the famous 'cuckoo-clock' speech is uttered by Orson Welles' legendary character Harry Lime high on the large Ferris wheel in the Prater amusement park, as he looks down rather contemptuously at the dots of humanity below. It was not part of Greene's original text -- it is included here in the printed version as a footnote on page 114. The speech was subsequently attributed to Welles who apparently improvised during filming (probably derived from an original comment made by the painter James Abbott McNeill Whistler, or possibly the novelist Geoffrey Household). The recipient of this presentation copy is the painter, novelist and screenwriter Reginald Gadney (1941--2018). Gadney was the author of the film biography of Ian Fleming Goldeneye (1989), starring Charles Dance as Fleming and Gadney himself in a cameo as the real-life James Bond.

This copy is inscribed "For | Reg | best wishes | Orson Welles". Apparently Welles was amused to be asked to sign this book and noted that it was the only time he had ever done so. After the film was released Welles reported that "the Swiss very nicely pointed out to me that they've never made any cuckoo clocks, as the clocks are native to the German Black Forest..."

You know what the fellow said – in Italy, for 30 years under the Borgias, they had warfare, terror, murder and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and the Renaissance. In Switzerland, they had brotherly love, in five hundred years of democracy and peace – and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock.

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The lot is sold in the condition it is in at the time of sale. The condition report is provided to assist you with assessing the condition of the lot and is for guidance only. Any reference to condition in the condition report for the lot does not amount to a full description of condition. The images of the lot form part of the condition report for the lot provided by Sotheby's. Certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot. In particular, the online images may represent colours and shades which are different to the lot's actual colour and shades. The condition report for the lot may make reference to particular imperfections of the lot but you should note that the lot may have other faults not expressly referred to in the condition report for the lot or shown in the online images of the lot. The condition report may not refer to all faults, restoration, alteration or adaptation because Sotheby's is not a professional conservator or restorer but rather the condition report is a statement of opinion genuinely held by Sotheby's. For that reason, Sotheby's condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot.

Sotheby's, 24 February 2000, lot 224

Wobbe A51a