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For those here such as Thompson and maybe James, and who can't seem to understand Anna's obsessive love for Harry Lime, evidently you guys have forgotten that a lot of women go for the bad boy type out there, and regardless if they might look like pudgy faced Orson Welles or not.

Remember, women generally are not as "visually oriented" as we men tend to be.

(...and also not withstanding the fact that Anna once mentions to Holly that it was through Harry's unscrupulous dealings that she would come to  possess that fake passport of hers and thus be able to reside in Vienna and not deep into some Russian controlled section of Europe...and so add in here the idea of the gratitude she must have felt for that slimeball, ahem, I mean that bad boy, too!)

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13 hours ago, Dargo said:

For those here such as Thompson and maybe James, and who can't seem to understand Anna's obsessive love for Harry Lime, evidently you guys have forgotten that a lot of women go for the bad boy type out there, and regardless if they might look like pudgy faced Orson Welles or not.

Remember, women generally are not as "visually oriented" as we men tend to be.

(...and also not withstanding the fact that Anna once mentions to Holly that it was through Harry's unscrupulous dealings that she would come to  possess that fake passport of hers and thus be able to reside in Vienna and not deep into some Russian controlled section of Europe...and so add in here the idea of the gratitude she must have felt for that slimeball, ahem, I mean that bad boy, too!)

There's also that little but, perhaps, telling, line of dialogue that Anna had. "Harry said I laughed too much." Aside from what we know and think of Harry it would appear that he made her laugh a lot. Just as he once charmed Holly, he also clearly had her in the palm of his (rat-like) hand, too.

Oh, yeh, Harry was the only person Anna's cat liked. That reminds me of the time I was at the apartment of a friend who had a cat that had been abused and used to hide whenever someone visited her home. As I sat on her couch one day, however, her cat leaped upon the couch and sat beside me, placing her paw on my leg as she stared up at me. Rose (my friend) had never seen her pet respond to anyone else this way and I remember her saying, "Oh, Tom, you're a good person."

Maybe Anna felt the same way.

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Wow; quite a bit of slagging on Orson here. Oh well. 

I couldn't resist commenting, The Third Man being one of my very favorite films of all time. I'm so glad that Eddie showed it; Noir Alley feels much closer to complete now. This movie has it all. Every time I watch it gives me back something new to ponder. 

This has the greatest entrance of any character in the history of the cinema. Period. That entire sequence is one of the most riveting I've ever seen. It's set up so beautifully, starting with the shot of the camera going through the flower pots on the window sill, peering down to the street below, catching Harry as he's walking past Anna's place, and retreating back into that unforgettable doorway.  Then Anna's cat strolls down the street toward that doorway and settles in as a spectator to the big surprise. 

I love all the little details of that sequence. One of my favorite elements is watching Holly ALMOST get hit and killed by a car in the street, exactly like what was supposed to have happened to Harry. the use of darkness and light in the entire scene, ending with the enormous shadows on the walls as Harry runs away, just incredible looking; it seems like a genuine nightmare. I always think of what poor Holly is going through, and after everything that's happened, now he thinks he sees Harry, and then Harry disappears. That light switch upstairs is like a magician performing a trick. 

It's one of my favorite edits of all time, that close up of Orson's face when the old woman upstairs turns on the light after cursing out Holly for making a ruckus out in the street late at night. I've seen The Third Man in the theater now at least half a dozen times, and for people seeing the film for the first time, that scene is like a thunderbolt that shoots across the theater. The only edit I've ever experienced in my lifetime of movie going in the theater that had that kind of impact on an audience was: "Garcon. Coffee". I'll always remember the first couple times I saw that edit in a theater with a full audience; same kind of feeling, like now you understand completely that you're in the hands of a genius director; you're in real good hands lol. 

I could talk about this film forever I love it so much. 

Now Eddie: please play Touch of Evil! Another of my favorites of all time. 

And please: Odd Man Out. That film is an absolute stunner. The ending! What despair! And what a great assortment of character actors in that film supporting the greatest James Mason performance ever.  

And regarding Eddie's comments about subtities and this week's upcoming film, i just want to say, it's time for some Jean Pierre Melville on Noir Alley. My favorite Les Doulos, and perhaps The Samourai. Show those and Noir Alley really WILL be complete. 

OK, back to Orson slamming. Gee, I wish i was so unattractive I could only settle for somebody like Rita Hayworth to marry me LOL. 

 

 

 

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On 3/21/2021 at 2:05 PM, Thompson said:

That’s another thing that bugged me right from the get go — this “friendship” between Cotton and Welles.  Us viewers are supposed to buy into that too?  Oh, they ran around together at University, and therefore became inseparable and best friends forever?  No, that doesn’t work.

I've been out of college for (gasp) 41 years.  The last two years on campus, I lived with the same guy, and even though we've only seen each other maybe half a dozen times since graduation, we still consider each other as besties and keep in touch regularly.  So, yeah, it can be done.

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19 hours ago, jamesjazzguitar said:

Yea,  the so called love interest in The Third Man really gums up the works.      Either Holly feels he should turn his friend over to the authorizes because his friend is a rat that must be removed before causing more harm,  or he doesn't.      Of course it is implied Holly's feelings for his friend's gal has nothing to do with this decision,  but that just isn't believable.  Is Holly throwing his friend under the bus to eliminate the competition?   (his intentions don't really matter since that is clearly the outcome).     Hey, I'm not saying this is the case but if it was it would make for a better storyline.    I.e. Holly is all over the map which is why the gal wants nothing to do with him at the end.

 

 

 

17 hours ago, misswonderly3 said:

Nope.  I feel you've got it all wrong.

It's interesting that you attribute such basic and oversimplified motives to Holly.  Of course he isn't "throwing his friend under the bus" to clear the way for himself to get Harry's girl.  He knows she's still in love with Harry.  

Look, one of the best, most memorable things about The Third Man is the ethical complexity of the story.  And its characters.  As I said earlier, the film poses a fascinating moral question, one that has no "right or wrong" answer:  Is it ok to turn a friend over to the police if that friend is perpetrating horrific harms and sees no reason to stop?  What about the trust that friend might have in you?  Which is the greater moral good:  loyalty to a friend who trusts you, regardless of what kind of crimes that friend might be performing,  or putting a stop to the very serious and real harm that friend is causing by turning him in to the police?

I don't think your cheap and overly facile interpretation would "make for a better storyline" at all.

 

13 hours ago, jamesjazzguitar said:

I believe you misunderstood my post;   I agree with you about the fascinating moral question.   Thus there was no need for the Holly love interest angle.  Like I said it just gums up the works (gums up the fascinating moral question).     BUT if a screenwriter \ director insist on "we must have a love interest angle",  then I would have done it in the cheap way I outlined.   This is a noir and for a noir protagonist to go-cheap is a fairly common noir theme.      It makes for a better storyline IF one insist on having the love interest angle.

(I would have just left off the Holly love interest angle,  PERIOD,   so that more focus would have been on the inability of Harry's girl to not be 100% loyal to him even after she knows what type of man Harry is).

 

 

Ok,  I laid out our whole argument  (debate?) here because all 3 of these posts are related to the same point.

Sorry,  james,  I don't think I misunderstood you.  It appears you're saying that The Third Man would have been a better noir,  or a more noirish noir anyway, if Holly had tried to compete with Harry Lime for Anna's love.  You say that narrative would have made the film more "noir".

But first, we have to remember that when these films were made - whether it be The Third Man or any other movie from that era we now call "noir" - that there was no such thing as that label, that people just made movies, some involving crime and/or deceptive women and friends / and/or  dark shadowy cinematography, etc.  It's not as though Carol Reed was supposed to adhere to some concept called "film  noir" and didn't follow the blueprint  (or noirprint.)   Sometimes I think people who like noir want to put a template of noir tropes over a movie and try to make the movie fit that template.   That's not the way it works.  So,  I  still say,  if Holly had tried to compete with Harry for Anna in the way you suggest, it would have made The Third Man a more  predictable  (following a pattern)  and therefore far less interesting story.

As for the "love angle" being part of the film's narrative, I think that makes The Third Man better, not worse.  It's not a mushy romance ;  it's about introducing a character who loved Harry Lime,  the problematic mystery man, unconditionally.  Anna loved him despite the terrible  things she was dimly aware he was doing.  To take a character like Harry Lime,  full of contrasts -  charming, funny, exciting, but also unbelievably selfish and amoral,  some would say evil  -  and show us two people who cared about him, one an old friend, the other a lover, gives us a kind of depth to the characters and the narrative that would be lacking without it.  We need Anna to see how a decent person can love someone who she knows is wicked (no other word for it)  but cannot bring herself to betray him, nor to accept anyone else who is willing to betray him.

 

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6 hours ago, goodvibe61 said:

Wow; quite a bit of slagging on Orson here. Oh well. 

I couldn't resist commenting, The Third Man being one of my very favorite films of all time. I'm so glad that Eddie showed it; Noir Alley feels much closer to complete now. This movie has it all. Every time I watch it gives me back something new to ponder. 

This has the greatest entrance of any character in the history of the cinema. Period. That entire sequence is one of the most riveting I've ever seen. It's set up so beautifully, starting with the shot of the camera going through the flower pots on the window sill, peering down to the street below, catching Harry as he's walking past Anna's place, and retreating back into that unforgettable doorway.  Then Anna's cat strolls down the street toward that doorway and settles in as a spectator to the big surprise. 

I love all the little details of that sequence. One of my favorite elements is watching Holly ALMOST get hit and killed by a car in the street, exactly like what was supposed to have happened to Harry. the use of darkness and light in the entire scene, ending with the enormous shadows on the walls as Harry runs away, just incredible looking; it seems like a genuine nightmare. I always think of what poor Holly is going through, and after everything that's happened, now he thinks he sees Harry, and then Harry disappears. That light switch upstairs is like a magician performing a trick. 

It's one of my favorite edits of all time, that close up of Orson's face when the old woman upstairs turns on the light after cursing out Holly for making a ruckus out in the street late at night. I've seen The Third Man in the theater now at least half a dozen times, and for people seeing the film for the first time, that scene is like a thunderbolt that shoots across the theater. The only edit I've ever experienced in my lifetime of movie going in the theater that had that kind of impact on an audience was: "Garcon. Coffee". I'll always remember the first couple times I saw that edit in a theater with a full audience; same kind of feeling, like now you understand completely that you're in the hands of a genius director; you're in real good hands lol. 

I could talk about this film forever I love it so much. 

Now Eddie: please play Touch of Evil! Another of my favorites of all time. 

And please: Odd Man Out. That film is an absolute stunner. The ending! What despair! And what a great assortment of character actors in that film supporting the greatest James Mason performance ever.  

And regarding Eddie's comments about subtities and this week's upcoming film, i just want to say, it's time for some Jean Pierre Melville on Noir Alley. My favorite Les Doulos, and perhaps The Samourai. Show those and Noir Alley really WILL be complete. 

OK, back to Orson slamming. Gee, I wish i was so unattractive I could only settle for somebody like Rita Hayworth to marry me LOL. 

 

 

 

Nice post about The Third Man, goodvibe, thanks for that.  I really enjoyed the detailed description you gave of that fantastic scene-  you made me think about why we love movies.

But...where's all the "Orson slamming" ? Except for one   (newish) poster who was very negative about a lot of things,  it looks to me like just about everyone here posting about The Third Man loved the film, including Orson Welles' performance of Harry Lime and his other contributions to it.  Maybe you meant "slamming" in terms of his appearance, as opposed to his talent.  But I'd say  most people who come to this thread are Orson fans, at least as far as his talent goes, which matters a lot more than his appearance.

And absolutely nobody here dissed  Odd Man Out.  I mentioned it here a page or two back, and a couple of other posters  (lavenderblue and Tom) agreed, we all think it's a great film and wish TCM would air it more often.  *  see edit

Anyway, again, I really appreciated your post, and hope you continue to participate here.

*edit:  ok, sorry, I re-read the bit you wrote about Odd Man Out and realized you were saying "please"  as in,  "please, TCM, show Odd Man Out soon".  For some reason I'd thought you'd meant something like,  "Oh please,  don't be slagging Odd Man Out".   My mistake.  Hey, maybe TCM  will air that great Carol Reed film soon, and then we can all have fun talking about it here.

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1 hour ago, misswonderly3 said:

Odd Man Out"...Hey, maybe TCM  will air that great Carol Reed film soon, and then we can all have fun talking about it here.

Yes, and the other "Man" in the title Carol Reed film that Tom brought up earlier in this thread...The Man Between.

Don't forget that one too.

(...and of course have Eddie presenting it on his series)

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I really love Carol Reed's work overall. We could loosely categorize severl of his films and make them solid candidates for Noir Alley, and I'm all for it!  If TCM wants to put Odd Man Out, The Fallen Idol, and Night Train to Munich (has this been screened on the show?) into the Noir Alley canon that'd be fine by me! They all have outstanding qualities tied to them; I just don't know how "Noir" they are lol. 

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2 hours ago, misswonderly3 said:

Sorry,  james,  I don't think I misunderstood you.  It appears you're saying that The Third Man would have been a better noir,  or a more noirish noir anyway, if Holly had tried to compete with Harry Lime for Anna's love.  You say that narrative would have made the film more "noir".

You still misunderstand me;  the film would have been better if Holly never had romantic feelings for Anna,  PERIOD.     Again,  Holly has NO romantic feelings for Anna.

 This would have put more focus on the fact Anna deeply loves Lime,   PERIOD (regardless of what kind of person Lime is) as well as the strong feelings Holly also has toward Lime.

I.e. make it all about Anna and Holly feelings towards LIME.   Lime only.    No need for any such feelings Holly has toward Anna. 

     

 

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2 hours ago, jamesjazzguitar said:

You still misunderstand me;  the film would have been better if Holly never had romantic feelings for Anna,  PERIOD.     Again,  Holly has NO romantic feelings for Anna.

 This would have put more focus on the fact Anna deeply loves Lime,   PERIOD (regardless of what kind of person Lime is) as well as the strong feelings Holly also has toward Lime.

I.e. make it all about Anna and Holly feelings towards LIME.   Lime only.    No need for any such feelings Holly has toward Anna. 

     

 

So evidently you've never experienced unrequited love in your life, eh James? And, as Holly experiences in this film?

You see,  I think THIS aspect of it has always added to an even deeper contextual feeling to how this film plays out.

And so no, I don't think it detracts from the arc of the storyline, but in fact makes it's even clearer as to the breath of Anna's obsessive love for Harry.

And in addition, this little "love triangle" makes it even clearer the internal emotional conflict that Holly is going through during the time he has to make the decision to help apprehend Harry or not, as he comes to know that by doing so, his chances at winning over the beautiful woman he's come love will be washed away...

(...and as is so much of the flotsum and jetsum inside the Viennese sewer system)

 

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Well, Eddie’s next film has subtitles.  At least we can read what’s being said.  That one director, directed Nashville,  Altman, couldn’t hear the dialogue with him either because there was so much of it all at once.  He did have Sterling Hayden in The Long Goodbye, based on that second rate writer Raymond Chandler.  No excuse me, the author Raymond Chandler, not the writer.  First class author, second rate writer.

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Speaking of the wonderful Trevor Howard,  Brief Encounter is airing tomorrow (Thursday March 25th) on TCM at 10:30 ( in the morning.)  If anyone here hasn't seen it,  try to make a point of watching it or recording it tomorrow.  It's an absolutely perfect film in its way,  and Trevor Howard is partly why.   (By the way, it's not a noir. No way, no how.)

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54 minutes ago, misswonderly3 said:

Speaking of the wonderful Trevor Howard,  Brief Encounter is airing tomorrow (Thursday March 25th) on TCM at 10:30 ( in the morning.)  If anyone here hasn't seen it,  try to make a point of watching it or recording it tomorrow.  It's an absolutely perfect film in its way,  and Trevor Howard is partly why.   (By the way, it's not a noir. No way, no how.)

Ironically Brief Encounter is an adaption of Noel Coward's play and that same Coward was briefly under consideration to play Harry Lime. Sure glad they went with Orson.

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37 minutes ago, TomJH said:

Ironically Brief Encounter is an adaption of Noel Coward's play and that same Coward was briefly under consideration to play Harry Lime. Sure glad they went with Orson.

Hmmm, I dunno, Tom.

Once again, I think I kind'a can see Coward in the Lime role, too. 

Yep, but however, because Welles supposedly came up the whole memorable "cuckoo clock" dialogue, if Coward had played it, we wouldn't have that in the film.

(...and that certainly would've been for the worse)

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All of you posters here know your stuff, absolutely no doubt about that.  My problem with a film such as The Third Man and the “love”  interest is “you don’t read nothing into nothing in a tight noir.”  Seems to me everybody is reading everything into this one.  And if it works, if you see it, well then okay, but I don’t see it.  I don’t get it.  Somebody mentioned Casablanca, a similar “read something into this fatal love story before I pass out from boredom.”  I don’t want to read anything into anything, I want it to read into me.

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52 minutes ago, Thompson said:

All of you posters here know your stuff, absolutely no doubt about that.  My problem with a film such as The Third Man and the “love”  interest is “you don’t read nothing into nothing in a tight noir.”  Seems to me everybody is reading everything into this one.  And if it works, if you see it, well then okay, but I don’t see it.  I don’t get it.  Somebody mentioned Casablanca, a similar “read something into this fatal love story before I pass out from boredom.”  I don’t want to read anything into anything, I want it to read into me.

Well Thompson, sorry to say I don't recall very many movies, and be they a noir or not, that are about X-ray technicians. 

(...wait!...I think there WAS that old movie titled The Killer Wore a Lab Coat, but other than THAT one.....)  ;)

 

 

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22 hours ago, Dargo said:

Remember, women generally are not as "visually oriented" as we men tend to be.

 

Dargo, that is NOT the way I remember high school!!

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7 minutes ago, kingrat said:

Dargo, that is NOT the way I remember high school!!

LOL

C'mon now, KR! Surely there was a guy in YOUR school like Rich DeCostio, a guy in MY high school, and who looked a lot like Lou Costello. Or in other words, not the best lookin' dude in Home Room.

Well ya see, Rich always had the girls hangin' ALL over him, and the only reason I could ever come up with was that he was extremely personable and quick with a funny quip. Of course it didn't hurt that his parents were one of the wealthiest in town.

(...last I heard, he was on his fourth wife, a knockout 30 years his junior, and living the good life in San Clemente)

;)

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It’s 10:43pm central time.  There are two late night bars open within walking distance if I can make it, big if.  Have to find my pants first, then my shoes, good lord, that won’t be easy.  It’s my own fault for not being a proper Cub Scout and following the rules.  There’s a real looker though at the one joint, she might be tending bar or she might be at the other joint drinking Budweiser long necks and half shots of Jameson.  I’d better get going.

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18 minutes ago, Thompson said:

It’s 10:43pm central time.  There are two late night bars open within walking distance if I can make it, big if.  Have to find my pants first, then my shoes, good lord, that won’t be easy.  It’s my own fault for not being a proper Cub Scout and following the rules.  There’s a real looker though at the one joint, she might be tending bar or she might be at the other joint drinking Budweiser long necks and half shots of Jamison.  I’d better get going.

So Thompson. Lookin' to experience your own little "noir" here tonight, are ya?!

(...and hopin' to run into a sexy little off-duty X-ray technician, perhaps???)  ;) 

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I read a lot of Raymond Chandler during my school years and, though his stories weren't much and were sometimes hopelessly confusing, he had a gift for sharp one liners, as well as lyrical prose. And certainly his most famous character, private eye Philip Marlowe, has left an indelible mark as a cynical lone knight of the streets on the crime genre, including, of course, an influence on film noir films.

Here's one of Chandler's most famous introductions, this time to his short story Red Wind.

“There was a desert wind blowing that night. It was one of those hot dry Santa Anas that come down through the mountain passes and curl your hair and make your nerves jump and your skin itch. On nights like that every booze party ends in a fight. Meek little wives feel the edge of the carving knife and study their husbands' necks. Anything can happen. You can even get a full glass of beer at a cocktail lounge.”

That's one of the most beautiful and concise passages of writing I've had the pleasure to read, with more than a touch of sardonic humour tucked in there. Makes me want to read more.

An illustration of Chandler's wit that I recall comes from The High Window:

"From 30 feet she looked great. From 10 feet she looked like she had enough makeup on to look great from 30 feet."

original-raymond-chandler-43-jpg-934f6a0

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I kinda scooted the bar stool a little to the left and caught her attention.  I said, “Look, my friend Dargo is older this year and still likes that movie The Third Man, what do you think?”  “I’ve heard of Dargo,” she said, “I like a good film noir myself but I hate to have to read anything into anything.”  “That’s what I said  to Dargo,” I told her.  

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I can see Coward in the Harry Lime role--peddling watered down gin and tonics to the four power

soldiers. In Switzerland they had democracy and peace for 500 years. And what did that produce?

The most scrumptious chocolate toffee you've ever put in your mouth.  

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On 3/24/2021 at 12:53 PM, Dargo said:

So evidently you've never experienced unrequited love in your life, eh James? And, as Holly experiences in this film?

You see,  I think THIS aspect of it has always added to an even deeper contextual feeling to how this film plays out.

And so no, I don't think it detracts from the arc of the storyline, but in fact makes it's even clearer as to the breath of Anna's obsessive love for Harry.

And in addition, this little "love triangle" makes it even clearer the internal emotional conflict that Holly is going through during the time he has to make the decision to help apprehend Harry or not, as he comes to know that by doing so, his chances at winning over the beautiful woman he's come love will be washed away...

(...and as is so much of the flotsum and jetsum inside the Viennese sewer system)

 

I see the points you're making here.    

As for "never experience unrequited love";  well you know for a fact that isn't the case!

75 Martha Vickers ideas | the big sleep, lauren bacall, old hollywood

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Here's a Japanese whiskey commercial Orson Welles did when he was hawking his name internationally for money in order to finance his film projects. I'm posting it because of the music playing in the background. It all feels rather sad that it came down to this for him.

 

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