Ever heard someone play a zither? Me neither.
The Third Man is a 1949 crime-noir directed by Carol Reed and starring Joseph Cotton as Holly Martins, an author who travels to Vienna to visit his old friend Harry Lime (Orson Welles) only to discover that he’s dead. Upon hearing this, Holly delves into the case to find out how his friend really died.
The Third Man‘s story is split into two parts which play into each other seamlessly. One half is a greatly intriguing mystery, and the other half is an exciting thriller. These two don’t just abruptly switch from A to B, they slowly transition giving us time to get comfortable with what’s happening in the story.
The Third Man has some significant scenes that could be considered among the greatest in film history. Nothing in the film is unnecessary. Everything that happens on screen contributes to the story in some way.
In terms of acting, Orson Welles is amazing as Harry Lime, and steals the screen whenever he’s on it.
The soundtrack captured the image of Vienna and managed to project that image with one instrument, the zither.
The Third Man is known for it’s unique cinematography, and with good reason. Most films before The Third Man would be structured with their camera work. Whereas with The Third Man, the camera isn’t shy of experimental shots.
With good directing, an exciting story, the zither, unique and aesthetically pleasing cinematography and Orson Welles, The Third Man is definitely on my list for the “Greatest Films of All Time”.
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