Thursday, May 26, 2016

The Third Man (1949)



 Academy Awards, USA 1951

Best Cinematography, Black-and-White
Robert Krasker
Best Director
Carol Reed
Best Film Editing
Oswald Hafenrichter


Cannes Film Festival 1949

Grand Prize of the Festival
Carol Reed

British Lion (UK)
Directed by Carol Reed
My rating: 3 stars out of 4
(DVD, Criterion Collection)

Writer Joseph Cotten arrives in post-war Vienna to take a job with an old friend. Instead, the friend dies under mysterious circumstances and Cotten decides to find out what happened. His investigation takes him into the shadowy underworld of the Vienna black market. His allegiance to his old friend is tested and he slowly falls for his girlfriend as well, although her motives are suspect. Talky and a little too convoluted for its own good, but cinematographer Robert Krasker makes the most of the Vienna locations, particularly the spectacular architecture of its sewers! The constant zither soundtrack eventually outstays its welcome, and almost destroys the mood.

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