Monday, February 6, 2017

The Third Man

The Third Man is a downright brilliant film that essentially pulls together so many great ideas into a single compelling story. The use of the burnt out Vienna is not only great idea, but gives such real sense of place in terms of city that is still in shambles. We that we get so many shady character, left and right, but with the king of them all being Orson Welles's smiling devil, Harry Lime. The character though offers more than a cackling villain, he offers a temptation to believe his twisted philosophy that emphasizes one's own gain over all others. In the middle of it all we have Joseph Cotten's Holly, who is truly a hapless hero in that it times him quite awhile before he even knows he is the hero. The film has the right sense of humor in this, having the right fun with the material, even though it has its darker turns. Trevor Howard's Major Calloway's a great example of this dichotomy with his acerbic asides, "Calloway not Callahan", but also a more earnest conviction when revealing to Holly what Harry Lime's crimes do. Unlike a few other films of the period the morality never feels forced, unlike say the unfortunate speech at the Asphalt Jungle, it is brilliantly interlaced through the characters. The film though is one of the best directed films of all time with its stunning cinematography, unforgettable music, and so many sequences that just seem to be pure cinema.

No comments: