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The Third Man and Carol Reed


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Fred, The Criterion release of THE THIRD MAN had a great short film on Anton Karas, the composer of the music. What did yoy think of it? I always trhought the zither was a rather quaint and obscure instrument. Didn't realize just how versatile a thing it was, especially when played by a genius.Have you seen both versions of the film, one narrated by Joseph Cotten anf the other by Graham Greene? Also that Holly Martin's first name was originally Rollo, or that David Selznick had originally planned to cast Noel Coward in the role of Harry Lime? Can't imagine anyone else in the role but Orson Welles. Cheers, Bruce.

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Yes, I love the music.

 

And I have seen both introductions. I saw the one with Joseph Cotten many years ago, maybe on the old AMC.

 

I think that was the original American version of the film.

 

I didn?t see the movie when it first came out in 1949, but I remember that ?The Third Man Theme? was very popular on bar and caf? jukeboxes back then. People liked to hum it. That?s the only zither tune that I remember being a popular tune too.

 

It certainly helps set the mood for the setting of Vienna, as do the Viennese actors too.

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  • 3 months later...

This movie is showing at the AFI silver theatre near DC starting the weekend of March 27, they are showing most of Welles movies and some documentaries as well. I love this movie, because I think Orson and Joseph Cotten are great, plus I really enjoy Carol Reed's films that I have seen as well.

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  • 8 months later...

HELLLLLLLLLLLLLO MS Favell.... or should I say.. " Hello, my little Oklahoma Kid!!" (ha. I have called you that nickname before, but that was the first time I recognized the title of the book they kept showing in this movie as they were talking about him being an author, ha! When I saw it, i IMMEDIATELY thought of YOU! ha) Too funny..

 

Excuse me while I blow a little bit of dust of this thread of yours, if I may.

 

I recently got the chance to re-watch The Third Man. I had seen it back about a year or so ago, but have never really gotten the chance to chat on it. .and so now AFTER getting to see it again.. I just want to say.. WOO HOO, what a movie!

 

I want to go back and re-read this thread (sometime) but in the meantime.. if I may... I have some "blabbish" thoughts that have been rolling around on the tip of my tongue just dying to get out, ha. (or should I say.. on the tips of my fingers.. ha)

 

First of all.. before I go too far.. I want to mention that I absolutely L-O-V-E love the music in this film. And I have to start out talking about it simply because it is SUCH a strange and yet completely PERFECT choice of music, played all throughout the story. Jaunty.. and a bit "off kilter" with the dark and menacing themes of the story.. but then.. the whole MOVIE has that sort of feel to it as well. It is almost "topsy turvey" with the way it is filmed at so many odd sorts of angles. It leaves me with a decidedly " whole world gone askew" feeling. (And I am sure this is intentional as that is LIKELY how Holly felt as he made his way from moment to moment throughout the entire story)

 

Now from here on out, I will be mentioning some things about the plot as I go along with my "blabbing" so reader beware...

 

*Possible SERIOUS SPOILAGE ahead*

 

Wowsa.. this is one of my all time fave rolls for Joseph Cotten. He really is something in this film. He is more or less just a decent guy.. caught up in stuff he NEVER dreamed would happen to someone like him. Very unsuspecting (of the mess he has walked into and been made a part of) VERY determined to get to the bottom of things (once he believes there is more to the story than he is being told) and VERY VERY committed to finding the truth (and then EVENTUALLY commited to STOPPING Orson Welles) once the truth comes out. Ok.. so maybe he needed a "nudge" now and then from the British.. ha. but he DID make up his mind.. eventually. And alll the while he is looking out for the poor girl (Anna) caught in the middle of it all. What a great character and what a terrific role for Cotten.

 

I had heard (from one of the commentaries on the film) that somewhere along the line James Stewart was considered for the role of Holly.. I can see that as a good choice.. but WOW... as MUCH as I like Stewart (and I DO like him a lot) I think this HAS to just be Cotten's role. He did a stand out job.

 

And THEN.. there is Orson Welles... OH MY GOLLY! If this film is among my faves for Cotten.. I think I would have to rate it my MOST fave for Welles. GOOD gravy does he ever just "sink" into the character. He doesn't even really appear in the story at all (except the shadows perhaps) until LONG after the movie has started and really only has just a very few "moments" on screen. But BOY oh boy, he makes VERY good use of them.

 

UGH.. that Harry Lime. WHAT a low-life, down right MONSTROUS dirtbag!! Bone chilling. EVIL to the core. Talk about pathological.. That "boyish" face with the "Cheshire Cat" smile.. OH my gosh.. bone chilling doesn't even begin to describe it.

 

His shining moment of course is the conversation he has with Cotten's character (Holly) on that carnival ride ((and I LOVE how Holly grabs ahold of the post the minute he finds out that his former friend MIGHT be ready to do more than talk) And then when Lime writes Anna's name on the window.. and taps the window to draw Holly's attention to it.. YIKES!!. Did I mention he was bone chilling?? (and yet SEEMINGLY harmless all at the same time)

 

And he had NO concern for ANYONE but himself. And NO concern for the evil he was doing to the most innocent of victims. The little speech he gives on the carnival ride (about the "dots" that ends with the whole 'cuckoo clock" thing) GOOD GOLLY what a menace... I just wanted to jump through the TV screen and push HIM out of that ride myself!!

 

And boy... it REALLY made me think of something far too close to home. We had a HUGE trial several years ago in the KC area with a pharmacist who was selling BAD chemo drugs ( he watering them down to make more money off of them) Several of the patients who bought the medicine from him died (and might not have if they had received the proper dosage, etc) so it was a REALLY big trial around here.

 

In the end he was convicted and sentenced for his crimes.. and I hope he has a GOOD long time to think about (and pay for) what he did. But I have to say.. I just don't know of an earthly punishment BAD enough for someone who would get rich off of the pain and suffering and utter MISERY of some other innocent person like that. (but GEE.. getting chased through the sewers of Vienna and dying like a dog in the gutters WOULD be a pretty fitting end... so I guess THIS movie had a bit of "justice" to it that the folks here in KC might only dream about).

 

Ok.. I know.. that SOUNDS bloodthirsty. I don't REALLY wish that for the guy here in KC.. but I have to say.. I was VERY happy to see old Lime go down.. (or at least HEAR it when it happened anyway)

 

Wow.. what a powerful moment when that gun echoes all through those tunnels... and then along walks Holly out of the shadows into the opening. The whole movie COULD have ended there and would have been completely satisfying.

 

But then again.. I LOVED the ending. I really liked the way it ends almost exactly how it starts.. with Liime's funeral. And the same 3 characters leaving the way they do. Poor Anna... I KEPT hoping and hoping she would turn around and we'd see her back as she was walking back toward Holly at the end.. but we never get to see that. I guess for Anna the hurt ran far too deep. What a sad thing for her, because GEE, that Holly.. did I mention what a DECENT guy he was.

 

There is way more I wish I had time to say.. but will have to stop for now. Thanks for letting me blab a moment, Little Miss "OK Kid" (ha) :-)

 

Edited by: rohanaka on Nov 6, 2010 2:52 PM

 

Edited by: rohanaka on Nov 6, 2010 3:28 PM

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Do I dare admit this? I have never seen The Third Man :( . Do I dare show my face? Should I walk the plank? Do I dare eat a peach? Am I but a "pair of ragged claws, scuttling the floors of silent seas."? (Thank you, T.S. Eliot) Or maybe I should re-invent myself and simply watch the film. Great idea, Laffite.

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No need to walk the plank on this one, sir.. HA! But I hope you DO get a chance to watch it sometime soon. It is a terrific film. I'd be interested to hear your thoughts on it!! (and PS: if I had to admit all the films I have never seen.. oh golly.. the outrage!! ha. (I would be drummed out of the "so you call yourself a classic movie watcher" club for SURE) HA! :)

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Please watch the film, *_Laffite!_*

 

This is one movie that I KNOW will be worth your time. And I'm not just saying that because I am greedy for your reaction and posts on the subject, but because you owe it to yourself to see it. It is one of the most highly entertaining films ever made.

 

*_Ro-_*

 

My little sharpshooter! I am so glad you got to watch TTM.

 

>First of all.. before I go too far.. I want to mention that I absolutely L-O-V-E love the music in this film. And I have to start out talking about it simply because it is SUCH a strange and yet completely PERFECT choice of music, played all throughout the story. Jaunty.. and a bit "off kilter" with the dark and menacing themes of the story.. but then.. the whole MOVIE has that sort of feel to it as well. It is almost "topsy turvey" with the way it is filmed at so many odd sorts of angles. It leaves me with a decidedly " whole world gone askew" feeling. (And I am sure this is intentional as that is LIKELY how Holly felt as he made his way from moment to moment throughout the entire story)

 

I am always a big fan of movies with ironic music (happy music playing when something sad or tragic is happening, for instance), but most movies wait until the end of the film to "make their statement". Reed's use of the zither music is ironic, but it also completely fits the zig-zagginess of the film.... with rising and diminishing scales to emphasize the ridiculousness of Holly's situation. I find the music adds a lot of joy to the movie, even though joyful is not a word I would use to describe the events happening on the screen. There is something so good natured and energetic about the way Harry betrays every last bit of trust Holly has in him, and the music somehow portrays that - it sounds like the dizzy feeling of falling into bed, just as you are about to wake up from a nightmare....

 

>Wowsa.. this is one of my all time fave rolls for Joseph Cotten. He really is something in this film. He is more or less just a decent guy.. caught up in stuff he NEVER dreamed would happen to someone like him. Very unsuspecting (of the mess he has walked into and been made a part of) VERY determined to get to the bottom of things (once he believes there is more to the story than he is being told) and VERY VERY committed to finding the truth (and then EVENTUALLY commited to STOPPING Orson Welles) once the truth comes out. Ok.. so maybe he needed a "nudge" now and then from the British.. ha. but he DID make up his mind.. eventually. And alll the while he is looking out for the poor girl (Anna) caught in the middle of it all. What a great character and what a terrific role for Cotten.

 

I love Joseph Cotten too. It's very hard to just play a normal, even foolish, guy. Cotten is perfect, because he just lets stuff happen to him. Whenever he actually tries to act, it turns out all wrong. Every single thing he thinks, the opposite turns out to be true. He's a noble man in an ignoble world, very much a Don Quixote. I never thought of the comparison before , but I think it's a good one.

 

>I had heard (from one of the commentaries on the film) that somewhere along the line James Stewart was considered for the role of Holly.. I can see that as a good choice.. but WOW... as MUCH as I like Stewart (and I DO like him a lot) I think this HAS to just be Cotten's role. He did a stand out job.

 

I heard that too, and I can definitely see it, but boy, I am so glad they cast Joseph Cotten. He is more anonymous than Jimmy, more normal joe, maybe more foolish, and I think Jimmy would have possibly skewed the movie a little too favorably or strongly toward Holly. That being said, I think Stewart could have done a great job, but Cotten is ever the ensemble actor and I think that makes a difference here. The Third Man is totally a balancing act. Tip the scale too far or too heavily one way, and the whole thing falls apart. The movie is so perfect, I don't want to think of anyone else in the role!

 

 

>And THEN.. there is Orson Welles... OH MY GOLLY! If this film is among my faves for Cotten.. I think I would have to rate it my MOST fave for Welles. GOOD gravy does he ever just "sink" into the character. He doesn't even really appear in the story at all (except the shadows perhaps) until LONG after the movie has started and really only has just a very few "moments" on screen. But BOY oh boy, he makes VERY good use of them.

 

>UGH.. that Harry Lime. WHAT a low-life, down right MONSTROUS dirtbag!! Bone chilling. EVIL to the core. Talk about pathological.. That "boyish" face with the "Cheshire Cat" smile.. OH my gosh.. bone chilling doesn't even begin to describe it.

 

He's slimy, but the truth is, I STILL like him. And that is what it's all about, isn't it? You need an actor like that, one who leaves doubt in your mind at the end.... he was most truly a sociopath, with no thought of anyone else, and yet, so charming, and beyond your will, you can't help yourself.... this is the secret of his success. He makes you want to come over to his way of thinking, he makes it so attractive. Terrible really.

 

>His shining moment of course is the conversation he has with Cotten's character (Holly) on that carnival ride ((and I LOVE how Holly grabs ahold of the post the minute he finds out that his former friend MIGHT be ready to do more than talk) And then when Lime writes Anna's name on the window.. and taps the window to draw Holly's attention to it.. YIKES!!. Did I mention he was bone chilling?? (and yet SEEMINGLY harmless all at the same time)

 

Did I say I've ridden on that ride? I got a chill when I stepped into the compartment. And there were no safety locks or anything, even when I was there. Yikes!

 

>Wow.. what a powerful moment when that gun echoes all through those tunnels... and then along walks Holly out of the shadows into the opening. The whole movie COULD have ended there and would have been completely satisfying.

 

The sound is incredible in this movie. Someone else, maybe fredCdobbs? talked about the voices in the different tunnels, when they are hunting for Harry. And the gunshots - the one that always gets me is when Sergeant Paine goes down. He is a wonderful character, so completely nice that, if you hadn't already realized how awful Harry was, that act alone would put the nail in Harry's coffin for the audience. Harry has to go! He shot that nice Sergeant!

 

>But then again.. I LOVED the ending. I really liked the way it ends almost exactly how it starts.. with Liime's funeral. And the same 3 characters leaving the way they do. Poor Anna... I KEPT hoping and hoping she would turn around and we'd see her back as she was walking back toward Holly at the end.. but we never get to see that. I guess for Anna the hurt ran far too deep. What a sad thing for her, because GEE, that Holly.. did I mention what a DECENT guy he was.

 

I honestly never noticed that the movie was circular like that - that the characters who came in at the beginning leave the same way. It's a nice touch. I'll have to go back and look again, it;s always a pleasure to do that!

 

You are right - Anna is cutting her nose off to spite her face, she will end up much worse off than if she could forgive Holly. Very sad.

 

Re: The OK Kid - I really like my name even better now that there's a tie to The Third Man. :D

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Howdy there, Kid! :D

 

I am always a big fan of movies with ironic music

 

Ironic! That is the perfect word for it. It just doesn't FIT with the story.. and yet.. It is PERFECT!!!

 

There is something so good natured and energetic about the way Harry betrays every last bit of trust Holly has in him, and the music somehow portrays that - it sounds like the dizzy feeling of falling into bed, just as you are about to wake up from a nightmare

 

That is a great way to say it. (the dizzy feeling) And you are so right about Harry too. That is what makes him (to me) so VERY hideous.. his "good natured" way of being so evil.. very sinister.

 

I love Joseph Cotten too. It's very hard to just play a normal, even foolish, guy. Cotten is perfect, because he just lets stuff happen to him. Whenever he actually tries to act, it turns out all wrong. Every single thing he thinks, the opposite turns out to be true. He's a noble man in an ignoble world, very much a Don Quixote. I never thought of the comparison before , but I think it's a good one

 

I am only "familiar" with the whole Quixote story (but have never read it.. or seen the film) but I imagine you are right on the money. And I like the word "foolish" too, to describe Holly. For all his good natured ways, and the fact that he was such a decent guy.. he was a pretty easy victim (for Harry to take advantage of). Poor Holly. What a bad lot he fell into. It is easy to see where we make bad decsions (to trust or not trust) someone AFTER the fact.. but sometimes it is way to easy to put your faith in the wrong "friend" when you are suddenly thrust in the middle of things like he was.

 

The Third Man is totally a balancing act. Tip the scale too far or too heavily one way, and the whole thing falls apart. The movie is so perfect, I don't want to think of anyone else in the role!

 

That is a good way to describe it. It is almost like a seesaw.. going back and forth, up and down. And if the heavy person gets off too soon.. whammo. You go flipping up in the air. I kept waiting for someone to go flying over head any moment.

 

He's slimy, but the truth is, I STILL like him. And that is what it's all about, isn't it?

 

He had such a 'way" about him it really WAS easy to see how he instilled such loyalty in people. He really was a likeable bad guy that way. His face was just so amiable.. and his manner of speaking was just so "smooth" . He almost "purred" No WONDER the cat loved him so much. He was so "cat like" himself. But OH me.. scratch the surface, ha. A WHOLE other animal underneath.

 

Did I say I've ridden on that ride? I got a chill when I stepped into the compartment. And there were no safety locks or anything, even when I was there. Yikes!

 

Yikes indeed!! ha. You are braver than ME for sure. (I am not much of a carnival person.. but gee... I DO love a good cotton candy so I have to go ONCE in a while just for that. HA!)

 

SPOILER ALERT:

 

The sound is incredible in this movie. Someone else, maybe fredCdobbs? talked about the voices in the different tunnels, when they are hunting for Harry. And the gunshots - the one that always gets me is when Sergeant Paine goes down. He is a wonderful character, so completely nice that, if you hadn't already realized how awful Harry was, that act alone would put the nail in Harry's coffin for the audience. Harry has to go! He shot that nice Sergeant!

 

Oh man.. when the Sergeant went down.. I was M-A-D mad! ha. I really liked him a LOT. (talk about a "decent" guy) But you know.. I have to say... those folowing scenes.. where Harry was at the end of his rope and those little stubby fingers were slipping up through the gates of the manhole cover.. and he is TOTALLY trapped... I have to confess.. as MUCH as I was ready for him to pay the piper.. I DID feel sorry to see him so "alone". I had NO idea I could EVER find any sympathy for him at all like that. but shock of shocks.. I DID. (very much in the same way that I felt sorry for poor Peter Lorre in "M".. though I still find it amazing I could even cal him POOR.. after all the evil he had done.)

 

Dadgum these movies that make me THINK like that... ha. OH WHERE is my easy "white hat" moment at a time like THIS?? ha.

 

But really.. that feeling only lasted a moment for me, because it IS pretty easy to say "HOORAY!" when he goes down.. even though I felt just the tiniest twinge of "sorry" for him. Despite all his "nice" ways, he was a MONSTER and he had to be dealt with.. NO question about it.

 

Maybe that was the difference between Holly and Anna. They BOTH cared about Harry.. they were BOTH loyal to him and they BOTH were on his side even (once they found out he was alive) the difference is that Holly finally came to see the "monster" in him and knew he had to be stopped.. whereas Anna (even if she DID see it) was more forgiving. Even at the end of it all, Holly is still calling out to him to give up.. trying to encourage him NOT to have to end things badly. But BOY, I liked the look on Holly's face when he takes that gun out of the dead Sergeant's hand and starts to walk away. His shoulders are squared and he knows that only ONE of them is going to get out of that tunnel alive. (at least that is the way it seemed to me)

 

And I liked that you don't SEE the final shooting. I MAY be making too much of this, (and have just missed something obvious) but when Holly walks out of the shadows, I always catch myself wondering (if only for a moment) "WHO fired the shot?"

 

The look on both men's faces SEEMS to indicate that it was Holly. And that is the way I usually lean.. and yet I still wonder. I MAY need to go back and watch again. It COULD be that I am just missing something or imagining scenarios that aren't there... But that part of the movie ALWAYS sets me to thinking: COULD Harry have "offed"himself??

 

Because to me.. just a little bit (and without words and using ONLY the expressions on their faces) it could almost go either way. It looked at different times like BOTH men COULD be giving each other permission. (or it seems that way to me) But I still lean more toward Holly pulling the trigger in the end.

 

But (and I confess, ha.. it may just be my imagination is working overtime) I truly do see a scenario where it COULD have played out the other way (with Harry killing himself) There is just enough of a question mark there for me to never be quite sure... and that always bugs me because.. ha... you know me.. as I like to say.. "Inquiring minds wanna know".

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I agree about the music. I have so many memories of seeing this film first, in an old theater in my teenage years, and then seeing it a few weeks later again, and again.

 

The music was SO wrong for that film, from opening notes on. Yet, within an hour after leaving the theater, it remained with me and, after each re-watching, it infected the film so thoroughly. I think Orson agreed, too - when he did the prequel HARRY LIME radio series a year or so later, he used that same theme music, throughout.

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Ollie,

 

That music covers all the bases - it evokes old Vienna so well - the joie de vivre, the "little Paris" atmosphere, and yet as you and Ro say, it is so WRONG it's right! There is something kind of .... corrupt about it.

 

Ro-

 

 

>That is a good way to describe it. It is almost like a seesaw.. going back and forth, up and down. And if the heavy person gets off too soon.. whammo. You go flipping up in the air. *I kept waiting for someone to go flying over head any moment.*

 

I'm sure it would have been Holly.... :D Metaphorically speaking, he did get flipped head over tip.

 

>He had such a 'way" about him it really WAS easy to see how he instilled such loyalty in people. He really was a likeable bad guy that way. His face was just so amiable.. and his manner of speaking was just so "smooth" . He almost "purred" No WONDER the cat loved him so much. He was so "cat like" himself. But OH me.. scratch the surface, ha. A WHOLE other animal underneath.

 

At the risk of repeating myself, I think I said earlier in the thread that I had decided that Harry was a rat - I mean that almost literally - He lives high off of other people, unconcerned about the garbage he creates, he escapes to the sewers....etc. No wonder that cat likes him. :D

 

>Yikes indeed!! ha. You are braver than ME for sure. (I am not much of a carnival person.. but gee... I DO love a good cotton candy so I have to go ONCE in a while just for that. HA!)

 

The one good thing about that wheel, it goes around REALLY REALLY slow. It's more of a sightseeing barge, than a carnival ride. But it does sway a lot. shivver. But I had to go on it, it could have been the same cabin that Orson and Joseph Cotten were in!

 

>Oh man.. when the Sergeant went down.. I was M-A-D mad! ha. I really liked him a LOT. (talk about a "decent" guy) But you know.. I have to say... those folowing scenes.. where Harry was at the end of his rope and those little stubby fingers were slipping up through the gates of the manhole cover.. and he is TOTALLY trapped... I have to confess.. as MUCH as I was ready for him to pay the piper.. I DID feel sorry to see him so "alone". I had NO idea I could EVER find any sympathy for him at all like that. but shock of shocks.. I DID. (very much in the same way that I felt sorry for poor Peter Lorre in "M".. though I still find it amazing I could even cal him POOR.. after all the evil he had done.)

 

Now see? It is like *M*. I am so glad you saw that in it. It has a balloon man too. That shot of Harry's fingers, with nothing but wind on the soundtrack.... wow! Is there another shot so vivid in the movies? It's amazing. You really feel for Harry the pathetic animal at that point. Your sympathy, though, shows that you are a better person than Harry Lime. I wonder, does he think of himself as a little dot at the end? I don't think so.

 

>Dadgum these movies that make me THINK like that... ha. OH WHERE is my easy "white hat"

 

I like that. Sometimes.

 

>But BOY, I liked the look on Holly's face when he takes that gun out of the dead Sergeant's hand and starts to walk away. His shoulders are squared and he knows that only ONE of them is going to get out of that tunnel alive. (at least that is the way it seemed to me)

 

Just like the Oklahoma Kid. Only it's not played for laughs this time. We see the real hell a man goes through to have to kill his best friend.

 

I wonder if Holly wrote better books afterwards? Maybe he quit writing altogether. I can't exactly picture the "after" in this movie. We are left with no future to feel good about. Just dead leaves.

 

>And I liked that you don't SEE the final shooting. I MAY be making too much of this, (and have just missed something obvious) but when Holly walks out of the shadows, I always catch myself wondering (if only for a moment) "WHO fired the shot?"

 

I always feel like that - only that I don't know who got shot.

 

>The look on both men's faces SEEMS to indicate that it was Holly. And that is the way I usually lean.. and yet I still wonder. I MAY need to go back and watch again. It COULD be that I am just missing something or imagining scenarios that aren't there... But that part of the movie ALWAYS sets me to thinking: COULD Harry have "offed"himself??

 

You made me gasp at the thought that maybe Harry did it! I have always seen it that Harry gave his permission to Holly to shoot him, because he knows Holly will be kind. As much as I LOVE your idea that there is a question about who did the shooting (and you really made me think about it!), I don't think Harry could have killed himself. He loved himself too much and was a weakling, really. He did not want to die. And if Holly didn't shoot him, then Holly would not have really grown up, and he wouldn't have felt the betrayal of his best friend, no matter how reprehensible Harry was.

 

The fact though that it was left open ended is genius. I love this movie!

 

Edited by: JackFavell on Nov 7, 2010 8:09 PM

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> {quote:title=JackFavell wrote:}{quote}

> Ollie,

>

> That music covers all the bases - it evokes old Vienna so well - the joie de vivre, the "little Paris" atmosphere, and yet as you and Ro say, it is so WRONG it's right! There is something kind of .... corrupt about it.

>

 

To me, it is wistful, longing, sad, world weary, nostalgic, unable to resist any longer, tired of enduring yet continuing to endure, accepting what it has no choice but to accept, surviving, and, of course, haunting. It's part of what makes the film great.

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I think I said earlier in the thread that I had decided that Harry was a rat - I mean that almost literally -He lives high off of other people, unconcerned about the garbage he creates, he escapes to the sewers....etc. No wonder that cat likes him

 

And there you have it. THAT is the perfect description of him. ha. No matter how likable a fellow he might have SEEMED to be.. OH what a rat he was (UNDERneath it all)

 

But I had to go on it, it could have been the same cabin that Orson and Joseph Cotten were in!

 

Wouldn't THAT have been something!! Too bad you could not have found a long lost "carving" somewhere where they scratched their names in it. HA!! ("Orson and Joe were here") ha!

 

Now see? It is like M. I am so glad you saw that in it. It has a balloon man too. That shot of Harry's fingers, with nothing but wind on the soundtrack.... wow! Is there another shot so vivid in the movies

 

It is so sad and so pathetic. I was thinking the other night that if you JUST saw the final scenes playing out in that sewer (and did not have the whole rest of the movie to watch first) he would be SO sympathetic it would make it VERY VERY easy to even CHEER for him to get away. It was almost that heartbreaking. Without the proper context (of the whole entire DOT thing, for example) he was literally almost HEARTbreaking with those little leaves rustling around out there along the pavement as he fingers were only grasping at the freedom he would never have again. VERY poignant. But of course. ha... we DO have the context and I imagine you are right.. the "dot" thing was likely the LAST thing on his mind. (except that I wonder if he was MAYBE finally gettting a feel for what it was like for his chickens to come home to roost) I mentioned this the other day.. WHAT a fitting end for someone so low.

 

wonder if Holly wrote better books afterwards? Maybe he quit writing altogether. I can't exactly picture the "after" in this movie. We are left with no future to feel good about. Just dead leaves

 

I don't know. I get a feeling for Holly that he IS going to move forward (even if Anna left him in the dust) I like the almost "lackadaisical" way he is leaning there waiting for her. Even though she has just walked away. It gives me hope for him that he is going to roll with the punches anyway. And I like the idea that he would become a better author as a result of all he just experienced. (I like how he says earlier on that "I'm writing my next book now.. it's called the Third Man" or something like that.. as he is trying to be "subtle" and yet "crystal clear" all at the same time. He definitely DOES grow as a person throughout the story.. which sort of culminates with him taking that gun and walking so purposefully through that tunnel.

 

You made me gasp at the thought that maybe Harry did it! I have always seen it that Harry gave his permission to Holly to shoot him, because he knows Holly will be kind. As much as I LOVE your idea that there is a question about who did the shooting (and you really made me think about it!), I don't think Harry could have killed himself. He loved himself too much and was a weakling, really. He did not want to die. And if Holly didn't shoot him, then Holly would not have really grown up, and he wouldn't have felt the betrayal of his best friend, no matter how reprehensible Harry was

 

I am sure you have it just right. But ha.. I just like to hold onto that "nagging little seed of doubt" sometimes. ha. I guess it is just my imagination working overtime, ha. think I just enjoy wondering "what if". But I do usually lean toward Holly pulling the trigger and I imagine that ultimately it is just as you say.. Deep down, Harry was a coward.. AND you are right.. he loved himself too much

 

Edited by: rohanaka on Nov 8, 2010 4:31 AM

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*The music was SO wrong for that film, from opening notes on. Yet, within an hour after leaving the theater, it remained with me and, after each re-watching, it infected the film so thoroughly.*

I had much the same reaction the first time I saw the film, and oddly I already knew the music from re-recordings. But the sound quality is a bit raw & it struck me as rather crude. Biut less than halfway through watching I couldn't imagine any other music for the film.

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I love the music in The Third Man I think it's perfect. As the narrator said:

 

"I never knew the old Vienna before the war, with its Strauss music, its glamour and easy charm ..."

 

Personally when I watch the film I almost feel the music is following Holly Martins, almost laughing at him.

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> {quote:title=Kinokima wrote:}{quote}

> I love the music in The Third Man I think it's perfect.

 

I think the music is the most perfect music of any film ever made.

 

And, oddly enough, I don?t know of any other film that contains zither music.

 

The music expresses what I?m thinking as I watch the film.

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> {quote:title=FredCDobbs wrote:}{quote}

> > {quote:title=Kinokima wrote:}{quote}

> > I love the music in The Third Man I think it's perfect.

>

> I think the music is the most perfect music of any film ever made.

>

 

The only match of film and music that comes close to *The Third Man*, that I can think of is *Zorba the Greek*. And, the music is a bit similar... Perhaps it Zorba even has a zither.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Fred, The Criterion edition of THE THIRD MAN has a wonderful documentary on the man/musician responsible for the unique sound and score of the film. Mr.Anton Karas was a Viennese zither player who attracted Carol Reed's attention, and of course, the rest is film history.Best,BruceG.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Zither is such a wonderful instrument to learn - a truly great exercise in dexterity. THIRD MAN is, I suspect, the reason most modern zither players started, too - just that mesmerizing theme, on such a strange looking instrument.

 

New players can usually produce good sounds quickly, too - with a full range of bass and treble. Producing good song-playing requires a bit more time, but it offers a good quick starting point.

 

Then, in a few days, players discover the joys of tuning.

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> {quote:title=Ollie_T wrote:}{quote}

> Then, in a few days, players discover the joys of tuning.

 

 

Thank goodness.

 

I've gone through some of the other players zither videos at youtube. Watching other people play the zither has given me new appreciation of Anton Karas' work. The instrument is pleasant to listen to, no matter what, but I see none of his complexity in the other music.

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  • 1 month later...

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