The Third Day

The Third Day is a 1965 suspense thriller film directed by Jack Smight and starring George Peppard and Elizabeth Ashley. It was largely ignored in cinemas and is rarely seen on television. It was based on a novel by Joseph Hayes.

The Third Day
Directed byJack Smight
Produced byJack Smight
Screenplay byBurton Wohl
Robert Presnell, Jr.
Based onThe Third Day (novel)
by Joseph Hayes
StarringGeorge Peppard
Elizabeth Ashley
Roddy McDowall
Arthur O'Connell
Mona Washbourne
Herbert Marshall
Music byPercy Faith
CinematographyRobert Surtees
Edited byStefan Arnsten
Distributed byWarner Bros.
Release date
  • August 4, 1965 (1965-08-04)
Running time
119 minutes
CountryUnited States


Steve Mallory has been involved in a car crash, and it appears he has killed his mistress, Holly Mitchell. Steve suffers from amnesia, he has no recollection whatever of the event. His wife is hostile and cold toward him, his father-in-law has been severely disabled by a stroke and his wife's cousin appears to despise him. Added to this is the sinister presence of Lester Aldrich, who turns out to be the downtrodden husband of the sleazy nymphomaniac Holly.



Jack Warner was reluctant to make a film about amnesia, but he agreed to finance because he had an expensive deal with George Peppard and Peppard wanted to do the movie. Warner offered the film to Jack Smight in part because I'd Rather Be Rich, Smight's first feature, had been made relatively cheaply and because star George Peppard had worked with Smight before on television. Smight said it was "not a great script by any means, but one with a lot of twists and turns. It dealt with the amnesia of the lead character, which Peppard played. The other characters were quite well written and I felt it had possibilities. Knowing that Peppard was set made me feel that I could make a decent film out of it."[1]

Exterior scenes were filmed along the Russian River, north of the town of Bodega Bay in northern California. Film sites include the Highway 1 bridge crossing the Russian River near the junction with highway 116 and Goat Rock State Beach.[2]

Smight delivered the movie on time and on budget.[1]


According to Smight, "the film did decent business, and to this day the residual payments from TV keep rolling in, for which I’m eternally grateful. Jack Warner was pleased enough to sign me to an added four-picture deal."[1]

External linksEdit


  1. ^ a b c Myers, JP (March 8, 2018). "This is the story of Director Jack Smight's life in entertainment written by himself".
  2. ^ "Newspaper article". The Victorian Advocate.