April 21, 2015
Movie Night: The Third Man.
Review #703: The Third Man.
Joseph Cotten (Holly Martins), Alida Valli (Anna Schmidt), Orson Welles (Harry Lime), Trevor Howard (Major Calloway), Bernard Lee (Sergeant Paine), Wilfrid Hyde-White (Crabbin), Erich Ponto (Dr. Winkel), and Ernst Deutsch (Baron Kurtz) Directed by Carol Reed.
It's hard to put into words why this is a fine movie, but one of the main reasons is the fact the movie manages to be consistent in terms of its production. It never seems to stray from its suspenseful roots while also managing to have a good atmosphere around it as well. And yes, the zither music is the cornerstone of the unique strangeness that is this movie. Cotten and Valli are alright, and the ending with the two is what it is: an ending. Welles is only in the movie for the second half, but he sure makes up for it by just having a commanding presence while on screen, which all starts with how we first see him, which is his face, illuminated by a window light, as the movie segues into a chase that is pretty fun to watch. The scene at the end in the sewers is riveting to watch, especially when Lime gets his fingers out of the gate. That shot is just really excellent. The zither music is...certainly different from what film noirs had, and I don't think I've ever watched a movie with zither, so in a way the music is fine with me. The film is shot nicely, and the dutch angles work well with the tone the movie is going for, helping to make a good mystery.
Overall, I give it 9 out of 10 stars.