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Wednesday, 25 March 2009

The Third Man is 50 years old

The Third Man is a wonderful example of the good that can come from talented people working together in real collaboration. Director Carol Reed, writer Graham Greene, and the cast (especially Orson Welles, in one of the crucial supporting performances in film history) together created a work that hasn’t lost any of its potency in the 50 years since it was made. Held together by Anton Karas’ versatile zither theme, the film brims with a melancholy lyricism that’s expressed with perfect pitch in the opening line, "I never knew the old Vienna before the war…"

Holly Martins (Joseph Cotten), an author of cheap Western fictions, steps off a train in bomb-shattered, occupied Vienna just after the end of World War II to meet up with boyhood chum Harry Lime (Welles), who has offered him a job. But Lime has just been killed in a street accident, and Holly’s attempts to find out how it happened only antagonize those who knew Lime best. Lime’s shadowy associates, his lover, Anna (Alida Valli), and especially Calloway (Trevor Howard), the coldly realistic British major who’s been investigating Lime’s black market dealings, all think Holly’s a fool for asking questions; they only want him to go home. Holly gradually realizes that Lime not only was up to no good – he was no good. And Holly winds up finding out even more than that – more than he ever wanted to know, in fact – for Harry Lime is still alive.
- Culture Vulture

This is the scene where Harry Lime, the character played by Orson Welles, appears for the first time.

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3 comments:

pamela fruendt said...

they don't make them like they used to...welles was an incredible talent.

Live for films said...

They certainly don't/ Plus I've been on the Ferris wheel that they ride on in the film

pamela fruendt said...

so cool.