Cinema Simply Different

Shortly after the end of the Second World War, Holly Martins travels to Vienna to join his friend Harry Lime. Hardly arrived he learns that Harry is dead. And alleged to have been a notorious pusher. Holly is unsure what to believe, and starts sleuthing on his own. Soon he finds inconsistencies. He is told that two of Harry’s accomplices were present at his death. But an eyewitness mentions a third man. And is shortly afterwards assassinated. Holly is being shadowed. Suddenly, light falls on his pursuer, and Holly to his horror recognises … the third man.
The Third Man is the masterpiece of film noir. The unflinching direction of Carol Reed, coupled with the unforgettable acting of Orson Welles make this expressionistic black-and-white film exceptionally thrilling. The cold and beautiful images, often shot at Dutch angels, tell of a cynical and tired world. They are accompanied by the melancholic and distinctly Viennese sound of the Zither – music that propelled Anton Karas to world fame. Particularly remarkable is that this film was shot on location. What had once been the city of waltz is now a city of ruins, bomb-craters, and shadows. The remains of better days are an unmistakable background to a story of broken naivety, loss and treason.
Michael Schmutzer

Other films in this program