Remember last week, when I said that I really, really hated to pass over the opportunity to recommend The Third Man, but I was forced to do it because I loved Babe so much? Well, I was sort-of cheating. Because I knew that I was going to recommend The Third Man this week, instead, and that made it a whole lot easier.
So, here it is: The Graham Greene-penned, Carol Reed-helmed, Robert Krasker-lensed noir that first fueled my (ongoing) obsession with Orson Welles. It's pretty much a perfect film, including one of the greatest monologues ever delivered, one of the greatest character introductions ever made, and one of the greatest, most devastating closing frames ever shot.
The breathless, silhouetted chase through the streets (and sewers) of Vienna that serves as the film's climax ain't bad, either. In fact, the only thing about it that I do not love is Anton Karas' legendary zither-work that serves as the film's score. I'm a real outlier on that one, though, so don't let it scare you away. It's an amazing film, and it's on NETFLIX INSTANT.
In 1949, an American writer of westerns, Holly Martins, arrives in post-war Vienna to visit his old friend Harry Lime. On arrival, he learns that his friend has been killed in a street accident, and when he meets Calloway, chief of the British Military Police in Vienna, he is informed that Lime was in fact a black marketer wanted by the police. He decides to prove Harry's innocence, but is Harry really dead?