The Third Man

Synopsis: Pulp novelist Holly Martins travels to shadowy, postwar Vienna, only to find himself investigating the mysterious death of an old friend, black-market opportunist Harry Lime, and thus begins this legendary tale of love, deception, and murder. Thanks to brilliant performances by Joseph Cotten, Alida Valli, and Orson Welles; Anton Karas’s evocative zither score; Graham Greene’s razor-sharp dialogue; and Robert Krasker’s haunting deep focus shots, off-kilter angles, and dramatic use of light and shadow, The Third Man, directed by the inimitable Carol Reed, only grows in stature as the years pass.

The Third Man 8.0

I still don’t get why it’s a MAJOR classic. It’s a solid film noir, of the best kind, but I’d pick other films before this one. Basically, it’s on par with Hitchcock when he was “on” (as opposed to when he was “off” – and barring his masterpieces, which are in a class of their own)

Still, it’s rather good and that scene with Orson Welles at the fair is a real stand out. It’s memorable enough that it was the only thing I remembered from the film after seeing it for the first time, years ago.

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