Film Noir Friday: The Third Man

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Joseph Cotton with Wiener Riesenrad behind him

 
Directed by Carol Reed from a screenplay by Graham Greene, The Third Man is a British Film Noir often considered one of the best films from Britain. Starring Joseph Cotton, Alida Valli and Orson Welles, The Third Man is celebrated for its acting, score and cinematography.

American Holly Martin is given in a job in Vienna by his friend Harry Lime. When arrives he is told that Lime is dead. Believing the death to be suspicious, Martin begins to investigate.

One of the top films that I love to recommend to people, The Third Man is a stunning look at post World War II Vienna through shadows and distorted angles as a man investigates the death of his friend. Played by real life friends with multiple collaborations under their belts, Joseph Cotton as Martin and Orson Welles as Harry Lime add a little something extra to the characters.

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Orson Welles as Harry Lime

The Third Man is a great use of a variety of film techniques and looks like the perfect mesh between British and American Cinema during the time of the film’s release. The use of Vienna’s landmarks, American lighting techniques, and Dutch “Deutsch” angles, a German filming technique used to portray psychological unease, The Third Man mixes various genres and styles to create a film that makes you feel out of place.

With one of the greatest scenes and film speeches of all time, one you have to hear for yourself, this 1949 Film Noir is a must see. If you are an aspiring director or a successful one, this is a film you should study. Also an important film for Cinematographer’s to view, The Third Man’s use of angles and lighting portray the unease of being in a foreign country while dealing with strange circumstances.

The Third Man is available to watch on Netflix. Perfect for Friday night viewing, turn off the lights, make some popcorn and grab a beverage of your choice. It’s time to investigate the death of Harry Lime.

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