Write a critical analysis of the film ‘The Third

Harmonizing to the Internet Movie Database ( imdb.com ) , 1949’sThe Third Manis the lone non-American movie to hold made the American Film Institute’s top 100 movies of all clip, and ranks figure one in the British Film Institute’s “BFI 100, ” a similar list compiled in 1999.The Third Manwas non merely well-regarded decennaries after its release, but was a commercial and critical success in its ain epoch. What is so particular about this movie?

The originative endowment involved withThe Third Manwas considerable, as was the originative tenseness between them. The co-producer was legendarily hard mogul David O. Selznick, a micromanager extraordinaire whose other movie victories included consecutive Academy Award winning moviesGone with the Wind( 1939 ) andRebekah( 1940 ) . The other manufacturer, and the manager, was Carol Reed ( a adult male ) , every bit every bit obstinate as Selznick, and a endowment cited by no less than manager Steven Spielberg as an influence. The film writer was Graham Greene, a former undercover agent and acclaimed novelist who had about all of his books made into movies.The Third Manwas developed by Reed and Greene from a individual sentence scribbled down by Greene: “I had paid my last farewell to Harry a hebdomad ago, when his casket was lowered into the frozen February land, so that it was with disbelief that I saw him base on balls by, without a mark of acknowledgment, amongst a host of aliens in the Strand. ” ( Newley, 2004 ) Reed and Selznick fought every measure of the manner, and Orson Welles, whom Reed insisted to play Harry Lime, the cardinal enigma figure to the movie, was his usual temperamental yet superb ego. Though egotistically declining to finish some of the cloaca scenes which appear at the film’s’ terminal, Welles besides was responsible for composing what is arguably the film’s best address and possibly one of the best addresss in film history – “in Italy for 30 old ages under the Borgias they had warfare, panic, slaying, and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo district attorney Vinci, and the Renaissance. In Switzerland they had brotherly love – they had 500 old ages of democracy and peace, and what did that bring forth? The fathead clock.” Greene himself both conceded Welles’ writing of this duologue and its glare, no little gesture for an writer of alone glare himself.

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Beyond the singular power generated by the originative tenseness between the film’s key participants was the content of the narrative itself. Far from being a simple-minded portraiture of good vs. immorality and good people vs. evil people, like so many movies of the World War II epoch,The Third Manwas dauntlessly equivocal and complex in its morality. Harry Lime, who summons his best friend ( a mediocre Western novelist ) Holly Martins to Vienna — apparently for a writing occupation — is revered by both Martins and Lime’s girlfriend Anna Schmidt. Lime turns out to hold been a wholly selfish idiot, who cared small for Anna and who intended to utilize St. martins in his racketeering strategy to sell watered-down penicillin on the Austrian black market. ( The one exclusion is the fact that Lime obtains for Anna a bad passport to forestall her repatriation to Communist Czechoslovakia by the Russians. ) However, Anna is unable to halt loving Harry Lime, and Holly Martins merely turns on Lime after a British major takes St. martins to a paediatric ward and shows him kids who are dead or enduring because of Lime’s racket. Even Martins’ salvation is flawed, as by film’s terminal he has fallen in love with and made a drama for his best friend’s miss. However, Anna in cold blood rejects him in a arresting sequence at film’s terminal that went wholly counter to the conventional wisdom of the clip that demanded a happy stoping.

As witty, stylized, and ‘cool’ as the narrative and duologue are – reminiscent ofCasablanca— the narrative itself reflects a instead black and paranoid sense of station World War II psychological science. Merely as the chief characters themselves are morally complex or flawed, the narrative itself — including the scene of Vienna – paints a image of a existence where the venue points of good and immoralities are hard to happen and truenesss are blurred and conflicting.The Third Manis a window into the hereafter of the Cold War, where planetary struggles between good and evil were to be played out on local phases by participants who have small practical usage themselves for the impressions of good and evil. Director Carol Reed emphasized the skulking sense of paranoia and treachery perchance waiting around any corner by the singular usage of illuming – most notably, blunt shadows – and a overplus of odd, oblique camera angles. One of the most celebrated entrywaies in film history in Orson Welles’ foremost appearance as Harry Lime in the movie – two-thirds of the manner through the narrative, though he is referenced in virtually every scene up to this point. Lime is concealing in the shadows across the street from Martins. All that is ab initio seeable are Lime’s places and Anna’s cat, which she mentioned in passing was fond of Lime. A neighbour across the manner hears Martins’ shouting after the elusive Lime, and turns on her sleeping room visible radiation. In a flash, it illuminates Lime’s face absolutely, and Welles delivers a revealing smirk/grin before vanishing into the dark once more. ( Anton Karas’ zither music, which Reed insisted upon utilizing over Selznick’s wants for an wellbeing mark, assist round out the conventionalized ghastliness that permeates the movie. )

In a manner, Harry Lime embodies the idealistic religion human existences topographic point in establishments, in loved 1s, in friendly relationships, in straightforward black-and-white paradigms of morality. The unraveling of his mystique and the heartbreaking reveal of his amoral religious nucleus reflected the blunt truths of the World War which had merely ended, and the Cold War which was to come – both great battles between great viing political orientations who promised much in exchange for commitments, but failed to present. The Anna Schmidts and Holly Martins of the universe were left merely with each other, and even those tenuous bonds were frequently of small usage. Even the rubric of this movie,The Third Man, suggests a manner of believing that rejects the impression of binary resistances, i.e. , merely one of two picks, and demanded that the audience accept a universe far more morally complex than they were used to populating. Beyond being a movie that succeeds in the kingdom of pure amusement,The Third Mansucceeds in this deeper thematic mode every bit good.


Newly, Patrick. “Greene Pastures, ”The Stage Online, 17 September 2004.

Ebert, Roger. Review ofThe Third Man,Chicago Sun-Times, 6 December 1996.

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