The Third Man

- Advertisement -



third_man1

The Third Man is a testament to the power of moving images. Often enough in the minds of the public, the writing or the acting of a film are considered the only true artistic aspects, while the cinematography is pushed aside as merely a technical detail, only the paint and brush needed to create the masterpiece. But some films’ cinematography demands the attention of even the most half-hearted of moviegoers, and The Third Man is one of them. While the images in some movies can be thought of as merely a medium through which to view the events unfolding, every scene in The Third Man is a well-designed portrait. Much like the post-WWII Vienna that the story takes place in, the film is dark, convoluted and intense.

The story opens with a twist. Holly Martins, an American novella-writer, arrives in Vienna to secure a job offered to him by Harry Lime, an ex-school friend, only to find Harry dead and Vienna riddled with black market schemes and corruption. Although the police have decided that Harry died in an accidental car accident, there’s a hole in the report. A witness says he saw three men drag the body away from the scene while the officer says there was only two. This third man becomes the focal point of the film.

The movie opens with a playful score of zither music that continues throughout the film, alternating with the mood. We hear the cynical narrator go through the dark reality of the setting in typical film noir fashion, and like most great journeys, it begins with a train. Apart from being a thriller in the Alfred Hitchcock tradition, the director, Sir Carol Reed, employed artistic techniques from his greatest influence, the German Expressionists. The chameleon-like zither song and the use of shadows are used to display a divided Vienna, split among the four powers that controlled it after the war: the Americans, Russians, British and French. The fact that no one can seem to speak the same language for any extended length of time is another testament to the division.

Holly Martins, acting like one of the gumshoes in his dime-store novels, asks around to Harry’s friends and finds inconsistent stories. The tale becomes increasingly convoluted as the witnesses grow less reluctant to speak. Some critics have spoken negatively of the way the camera tilts and turns in The Third Man, calling it “distracting,” but it is my opinion that this only enhances the mood of the moment. When a film is graced with such a bold plot and risk-taking actors, it’s only fitting that the director be allowed a license or two as well.

Even if you don’t like black-and-white movies, or if film noir is not your cup of tea, there is something for every film lover to enjoy in this cynical British thriller. The well-spun writing, evocative acting, and sinister twists ensure that even the most reluctant of viewers will be asking, right up until the end, who is the third man?

– Erika Leonard






Add Comment


10 Different Types of Financial Aid
Top 10 Richest American Idols
V-Moda Crossfade Wireless
The 5 Most Expensive Wireless Headphones: Ultimate Auditory Clarity
Business man watching business go bankrupt
25 Iconic Companies that Filed for Bankruptcy
Accordion
17 Different Types of Accordion
22 Different Types of TV Shows
A Saxophonist with a Saxophone in His Hands
12 Different Types of Saxophones
genre titles mash up
The 13 Types of Movies You Can Choose From (Genres)
42 Different Types of Meads Around the World
22 Different Types of Milk
different types of squash
18 Different Types of Squash
Fresh Green Spinach
10 Different Types of Spinach
Fire Truck with Warm Yellow Lights
9 Different Types of Fire Trucks
22 Different Types of Forklifts for Indoor and Outdoor Work
Trains
17 Different Types of Trains
Several semi trucks on the highway
19 Different Types of Trucks – Do You Know Them All?
15 Different Types of Goggles
13 Different Types of Dumbbells
15 Awesome Alternatives to Skateboards (Plus Interesting Facts)
Baseball player hitting ball
10 Types of Baseball Bats that Rip the Leather Off the Ball
16 Different Types of Technology
man holding smartphone with vintage case
11 Types of Cell Phone Cases and Covers to Protect Your Expensive Smartphone
Black and Red Tablet Covers
8 Types of Tablet Cases for Kids, Protection, and Convenience
Camera, lenses and other photography equipments.
45 of the Best Online Camera Stores for the Perfect Pics