Holly Harry & jrod
The Third Man
Directed by Carol Reed; Written by Graham Greene
I used to always think that Carol Reed was a woman. I always used to say to myself, "Wow, it's amazing how a woman was allowed to helm big movies back then, that's great. And they were great movies too, supposedly anyway." Well, then I started watching this and had that thought again, but then it occurred to me that maybe, just maybe, that it's just a dude called Carol; I mean John Paul II's real name was Karol. So yes, Carol Reed is a guy, and that is a surprise to me, though given the context it makes sense. So now on to the actual film that I watched. I knew nothing of the plot, the characters, none of it. I went in cold. But let me tell you, things got hot pretty quick. The story, in essence, is about a man, Holly Martins (Joseph Cotten) who arrives in Vienna to find his friend, who was supposed to put him up, had been accidentally killed in a automobile accident. But he starts to get curious as to what actually happened. What he finds is more than he bargained for. Basically there is a "Third Man" involved and Harry Lime (Orson Welles), the friend, was some kind of racketeer.
The film starts off with a cool, I want to say local, musical instrument playing and this style of music continues throughout the film. In the first few scenes I got this kind of tone that it might be somewhat sarcastic or funny, but soon enough I found it would be serious, though I kind of liked it the way it was. But nonetheless, the music still continues, which somewhat irked me because then it started to not fit the tone of the film and it sometimes got annoying, though it was used less as the film continued on. I was always kept wondering about the conspiracy though, I never knew what to think exactly and I was always involved in the film throughout the first two acts. Obviously, in addition to the great tension, the strongest point of the film was the cinematography. It was stunningly beautiful and the use of the canted angle was marvelous. Some might say it was over used, as sam suggested in his recent review of Slumdog Millionaire
, but what I loved about it there and here is that it creates that tension. Yea, some might feel that is too in your face and obvious, but it made me uneasy and always questioning what was happening. Especially when Holly did not know what was going on. It was just composed so well. And then of course the tunnel sequences were astounding and a visual treat. The other technical aspects were quite good too. The acting was good, but I also noticed the editing in some points, but in a good way. Sometimes there were some fast edits that I did not care for, but for the most part I noticed it as adding to the tension and creating that great atmosphere.
I had a lot of fun with this film, and like The 400 Blows
, the final act was marvelous. Unlike that other film, however, The Third Man
involved me all the way through and I had a genuine concern for the outcome of the film. The ending, while I would not say perfect, was pretty cool too, especially the very last shot itself. It was very satisfying and involved some interesting dilemma/decision making. This is definitely something that I can see watching again, and also something that may get better with repeat viewings. Good pick Holly Harry and jrod!***1/2Next Up:
I gotta imagine High Fidelity
, especially since it fulfills two marathons. But I guess anything could happen.