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May 22 2011


The Third Man (1949) directed by Carol Reed - Film noire - Music: Anton Karas

The third man (1949) directed by carol reed - film noire - music: anton karas | offene ablage: nothing to hide 2011-05-22 | oanth-miscellaneous |
by oAnth:

- The film (British release without subtitles) is now completely available at Youtube - to see with all necessary links on oAnth / by clicking the entry title line ....
- .... together with 2 original recordings (1949/50) also via Youtube with zither player & composer Anton Karas playing his famous "Harry Lime Theme"


From Wikipedia-Entry



The atmospheric use of black-and-white expressionist cinematography by Robert Krasker, with harsh lighting and distorted camera angles, is a key feature of The Third Man. Combined with the unique theme music, seedy locations, and acclaimed performances from the cast, the style evokes the atmosphere of an exhausted, cynical post-war Vienna at the start of the Cold War. The film's unusual camera angles, however, were not appreciated by all critics at the time. C. A. Lejeune in The Observer described Reed's "habit of printing his scenes askew, with floors sloping at a diagonal and close-ups deliriously tilted" as "most distracting". American director William Wyler, a close friend of Reed's, sent him a spirit level, with a note saying, "Carol, next time you make a picture, just put it on top of the camera, will you?"[1]

Through the years there was occasional speculation that Welles, rather than Reed, was the de facto director of The Third Man. Film scholar Jonathan Rosenbaum, in his 2007 book, Discovering Orson Welles, calls it a "popular misconception",[2] although Rosenbaum did note that the film "began to echo the Wellesian theme of betrayed male friendship and certain related ideas from Citizen Kane."[3] In the final analysis, Rosenbaum writes, Welles "didn’t direct anything in the picture; the basics of his shooting and editing style, its music and meaning, are plainly absent. Yet old myths die hard, and some viewers persist in believing otherwise."[3] Welles himself fueled this theory with an interview he gave in 1958, in which he said that he had had an important role in making The Third Man, but that it was a “delicate matter, because [he] wasn’t the producer”.[4] However, he later admitted in a 1967 interview with Peter Bogdanovich that his involvement was minimal: "It was Carol's picture", he said.[5] However, Welles did contribute some of the film’s best-known dialogue. Bogdanovich also stated in the introduction to the DVD:

However, I think it’s important to note that the look of The Third Man—and, in fact, the whole film—would be unthinkable without Citizen Kane, The Stranger, and The Lady from Shanghai, all of which Orson made in the ’40s, and all of which preceded The Third Man. Carol Reed, I think, was definitely influenced by Orson Welles, the director, from the films he had made.[6]

Differences between releases

As the original British release begins, the voice of director Carol Reed, unnamed, is heard describing post-war Vienna from the point of view of a racketeer. The version shown in American theatres replaced this with narration by Joseph Cotten as Holly Martins. This change was instituted by David O. Selznick, who did not think American audiences would relate to the seedy tone of the original.[7] In addition, eleven minutes of footage were cut.[8] Today, Reed's original version appears on American DVDs, in showings on Turner Classic Movies, and in U.S. theatrical releases, with the eleven minutes of footage restored. Both the Criterion Collection and Studio Canal DVD releases include a comparison of the two opening monologues.



In Austria, "local critics were underwhelmed"[14] and the film ran for only a few weeks; William Cook, after his 2006 visit to an eight-room museum in Vienna dedicated to the film, wrote "In Britain it's a thriller about friendship and betrayal. In Vienna it's a tragedy about Austria's troubled relationship with its past."[14]

Upon its release in Britain and America, the film received overwhelmingly positive reviews.[15] Time magazine called the film "crammed with cinematic plums that would do the early Hitchcock proud—ingenious twists and turns of plot, subtle detail, full-bodied bit characters, atmospheric backgrounds that become an intrinsic part of the story, a deft commingling of the sinister with the ludicrous, the casual with the bizarre." ....



The musical score was composed by Anton Karas and played by him on the zither. Before the production came to Vienna, Karas was an unknown wine bar performer. According to a November 1949 Time magazine article:[20]

The picture demanded music appropriate to post-World War II Vienna, but director Reed had made up his mind to avoid schmalzy, heavily orchestrated waltzes. In Vienna one night Reed listened to a wine-garden zitherist named Anton Karas, [and] was fascinated by the jangling melancholy of his music.

Reed later brought Karas to London, where the musician spent six weeks working with Reed on the score.[20] Decades later, film critic Roger Ebert wrote, "Has there ever been a film where the music more perfectly suited the action than in Carol Reed's The Third Man?"



* Joseph Cotten as Holly Martins
* Alida Valli as Anna Schmidt
* Orson Welles as Harry Lime
* Trevor Howard as Major Calloway
* Bernard Lee as Sgt. Paine
* Wilfrid Hyde-White as Crabbin
* Erich Ponto as Dr. Winkel
* Ernst Deutsch as 'Baron' Kurtz
* Siegfried Breuer as Popescu
* Paul Hörbiger as Karl, Harry's Porter
* Hedwig Bleibtreu as Anna's Landlady
* Robert Brown as British Military Policeman in Sewer Chase
* Alexis Chesnakov as Brodsky
* Herbert Halbik as Hansl
* Paul Hardtmuth as the Hall Porter at Sacher's
* Geoffrey Keen as British Military Policeman
* Eric Pohlmann as Waiter at Smolka's
* Annie Rosar as the Porter's Wife
* Joseph Cotten as the Narrator (pre-1999 US version)
* Carol Reed as the Narrator (pre-1999 UK, and all post-'99 versions)



All entries to "The Third Man" on are bundled via


May 21 2011


France: French Women Bloggers on the DSK Scandal

French feminist bloggers and women bloggers writing on women's issues, have gained a larger audience and a new respect in France in the aftermath of the Domininique Strauss-Kahn (DSK) scandal. They were the first and very few voices reminding that there was a woman involved, possibly a victim, and they drew attention to the biased and sexist coverage of the French media.

Meet a few French feminist bloggers, blogging from different perspectives but all laboring online against prejudices and the French perception of sexual harassment and crimes.

Clémentine Autain

Clementine autain

Clementine Autain

Clémentine Autain [fr] has gained a new following this week in France for being the first prominent French blogger and politician to speak out against the barrage of pro-DSK coverage on the day the news broke, in this blogpost, ‘A thought for the chambermaid‘ [fr]:

Qui a une pensée pour la femme de chambre ? Pas grand monde, et cela me scandalise.[…] Je veux dire l’omerta qui pèse sur les violences faites aux femmes,

Who spares a thought for the chambermaid? Not many people, and that shocks me. […] I want to talk about the law of silence that weighs on violences against women.

In 2006, in one of her first blog posts, “Why I am a feminist‘ [fr], Clémentine Autain spoke openly of being herself a rape victim at age 22 and how it has been central to her political and feminist engagement. She filed a complaint and her rapist was tried and convicted.

Olympe et le plafond de verre

Olympe et le plafond de verre

Olympe et le plafond de verre

Olympe was spurred to create her blog [fr] about gender discrimination in the work place by her own experience of the plafond de verre (glass ceiling) in work, business and politics.

Her blog is a diary of  big and small offenses done to women in daily life, in politics or in the media. She kept a log of links pointing to disparaging comments published in French media about the chambermaid [fr], and writes:

If you file a complaint for rape, this is what you should expect [all links in fr]:

- They will ask  how on earth raping you is possible because you are unattractive: “Apparently the lawyers were surprised during the court appearance by how unattractive the young lady was.” [on national French radio RMC]

- Or, on the contrary, that your femaleness could explain everything:  ”this chambermaid is a very pretty 30-year old with a nice bosom and behind.” [a quote published in national French daily Le Parisien]

- Or that you are stupid: “He could plead that she had misunderstood, that he was trying to flirt with her and she did not understand.” [on national daily newspaper Le Figaro]

- But after all, il n'y a pas mort d'homme“ (no one was killed) - a comment by Jack Lang [former French Minister of culture and education] reveals his concept of rape. [video from national channel France 2]

Her top award goes to Jean-François Khan, a famous editorialist, who compared the alleged sexual assault of DSK, if proven, to “a romp with the chambermaid“ [on national radio France Culture].

Osez le féminisme

Osez le feminisme [fr] is a website and organization intent on creating a grassroot feminist movement in France. When French commentators went overboard with lewd comments, the site published an appeal stressing what was at stake [fr]: 

To demean the testimony of the plaintif is a serious matter, and dangerous. Serious, because it adds to the burden of this woman. Dangerous, because it signals to rape victims, present or future, that filing a complaint exposes you to risks. […] Osez le féminisme reminds you that every year, in France, 75 000 women are raped. Only  10% of those file a complaint.

Les aventures d'Eutherpe

Les aventures d'eutherpe

Les aventures d'Eutherpe

Hélène's blog, Les aventures d'Eutherpe [fr] is dedicated to “search for women lost in the space-time continum”.

She often revisits history in a feminist and playful style, like in this post on the rehabilitation of serial killer Henry the VIII [fr] in the British television series ‘The Tudors‘. In her post ‘Omerta in France‘ [fr] (the law of silence in France that bred the DSK scandal), she wrote:

L'information s'arrête toujours à la porte de la chambre à coucher. Très bien, mais…même si derrière cette porte quelqu'un.e est en train de hurler au viol ?

Information stops at the door of the bedroom. Fine, but…What if behind that door, someone is screaming because he/she is being raped?


'Causette' magazine cover

'Causette' magazine cover

Finally, women in France can now turn to Causette [fr], a successful and refreshing magazine supportive of women, which was launched in 2009.

Flocha, on Causette's online readers page [fr] is waiting for her magazine's opinion on the DSK scandal:

Before long, we're going to hear she was consenting, she had provoked him with her dress, or that she lied! It stinks! Or is it only me? I'm sure I'm not! I've got an ally: Causette!!! Please say something!!!

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