An out of work pulp fiction novelist, Holly Martins, arrives in a post war Vienna divided into sectors by the victorious allies, and where a shortage of supplies has lead to a flourishing black market. He arrives at the invitation of an ex-school friend, Harry Lime, who has offered him a job, only to discover that Lime has recently died in a peculiar traffic accident. From talking to Lime's friends and associates Martins soon notices that some of the stories are inconsistent, and determines to discover what really happened to Harry Lime. Written by
Mark Thompson <email@example.com>
Princess Margaret was said to be a big fan of the theme music. See more »
As Martins arrives at the funeral, he asks Maj. Calloway who the funeral is for. A black tombstone is seen behind Martins. When he walks towards the grave and stands by Anna, the same tombstone is seen behind her. This occurred because both of those scenes were not filmed on location in Vienna, but later at Shepperton Studios, which only had very few fake tombstones available. See more »
Have you ever seen any of your victims?
You know, I never feel comfortable on these sort of things. Victims? Don't be melodramatic. Look down there. Tell me. Would you really feel any pity if one of those dots stopped moving forever? If I offered you twenty thousand pounds for every dot that stopped, would you really, old man, tell me to keep my money, or would you calculate how many dots you could afford to spare? Free of income tax, old man. Free of income tax - the only way you can save ...
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The Third Man is always regarded as on the greatest films to ever come out of the genre of noir. It is also regarded as one of the greatest British films of all time, but sadly I failed to find anything fascinating in this film.
From a technical standpoint the film is well made. The outdoor locations of Vienna are picturesque and well shot and the cinematography is flawless. The use of lighting in the climax is also amazing. But that's about it as far as the positives go for me. The storyline is set at the backdrop of Vienna, a city tortured by the perils of the WWII and it also deals with the context of the inevitable rise of corruption in a broken economy and a suffering society where corrupt people employ devious means to earn big by making use of the common person's deficiencies and in doing so climb to the top of the food chain. But unfortunately the director didn't go deep into the aforementioned themes and the story itself felt so flat and none of the characters seemed interesting and deep. I sat through the the initial scenes with the hope that things will get better, but they never did. A noir film at the basic level has to keep you engrossed,but this film didn't keep me so and the big reveal wasn't shocking at all.
Orson Welles is good in it, but the acting as a whole in the film is just acceptable with nothing in particular worth a special mention.
So in a nutshell, The Third Man is a technically well made film with great cinematography, but every other aspect of the film is mediocre at best. Maybe it is the raised expectations due to its critical acclaim that let me down in the end.
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