the diaries of a nobody

Saturday, August 06, 2005

The Third Man | 1949

Added further trivia to The Third Man movie pages. Everything you ever wanted to know about the film and/or the making of it is now there.

Last night, viewers of BBC's Newsnight Review voted the film their 4th most favourite of all time. All the more remarkable when you consider that it was the only film in the top five list that was made before 1970!

I love this film and think it is a classic not for the performance of Orson Welles but for that of one of my favourite actors, Trevor Howard. Sure, Welles's massive personality and physique are all over the film from start to finish and whether he is on screen or not, but, in my opinion, it's an easier role to play than that of Howard's. His part has a depth to it whereas Welles's is surface, surface, surface.

Howard lets you see how badly he hates Lime, the Welles character, but the hatred is inside him. On the surface he gives nothing away.
That is acting of a high order.

Anyone wanting to learn about screen acting should throwaway those 'method' books, forget about the king of Shakespearian hamminess, Olivier, and watch Howard in this film. Your education will be complete in one easy lesson.

Of course, another reason for its iconic status today is that it is all held together and moved along with such a visionary and inspired touch, by the great director, Carol Reed. Now, he was one of the great directors in British cinema, no less important that a contemporary like Hitchcock. It is here in this film where his genius reaches its zenith.

There are so many reasons I have not mentioned that make this film stand out. Some of them can be found here.

the third man

Added biog. and gallery of a now almost forgotten star of 1940s cinema, Irene Dunne.