Hello everyone. Just finished up watching The Third Man. I liked it, but as usual with these older films I felt it dragged in the middle some. I checked the time remaining often throughout.
It’s no matter. The film, especially in the beginning, was quite good. I loved the setup of post-war Vienna. I loved the characterization, specifically that of the lead Holly Martins. He displayed the brash American attitude (and ignorance) that we come to expect in the USA. Stereotypical, almost! He does not understand the nuance of Calloway and Callahan as name and mixes them up. He mispronounces Winkel. He doesn’t speak a lick of German.
I also liked the performances. Throughout the quest so far the movies in the 50s or so have tended to have somewhat hammy performances save for a few exceptions. I don’t know why I feel this way about them, but I didn’t have that feeling with The Third Man. Orson Welles in particular had his own gravitational pull from the second he showed up. Perhaps that was hype, but I was impressed, nonetheless! In the scene where Martins is waiting for him is a cafe, I found I was almost as tense to see him again, mostly because I wanted more from Welles.
The zither score was a bit obtrusive for me. It felt like incidental music similar to “On the Waterfront,” to be honest. It wasn’t bad, but it’s all you heard for most of the movie, and I just didn’t care for it that much.
It had some awesome lines. My favorite is one that is probably famous, spoken by Harry Lime.
“Don’t be so gloomy. After all it’s not that awful. Like the fella says, in Italy for 30 years under the Borgias they had warfare, terror, murder, and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and the Renaissance. In Switzerland they had brotherly love – they had 500 years of democracy and peace, and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock. So long Holly.”
Love it. Awesome. Apparently, it’s not true at all, but it’s awesome nonetheless.
I would recommend seeing this movie. Have a ball. You won’t regret it, especially if you like suspense!