The Third Man

We went to the pictures last night. Both my children wince when I say that.

In fact, we went to see The Third Man at our wonderful local arts centre. We don’t get there anything like often enough – we have far too many commitments, and while it is wonderful to have a wonderful little local arts centre, those art-y movies and live performances only have a run of one night.

Anyhow, yesterday the stars aligned, and me, husband and son went to see The Third Man. We only just managed to see it. The digitally remastered version didn’t get sent through to our WLLAC on time, so the team there had to ring Paul, one of the custodians, and get him to bring in his own DVD. That effectively meant Paul and his wife paid to go and see their own DVD being played on the big screen, but they are so lovely they didn’t mind. We were all offered free tickets for the next screening – 21 November – but I think there might be a limit to the number of times you can watch it within a fortnight.

Still, it’s a great movie. The shadows, the faces, the plot. Graham Greene – what a writer – why didn’t he win the Nobel Prize for Literature? His body of work is amazing. Trevor Howard – coolest Major in the world. His coats alone were worth the admission price. See his shiny black number here:

and his equally wonderful duffle coat here:

Got the first one off tumblr, and that one off pinterest.

If you look at the guy on the right in the second one, you’ll see it’s M from the Sean Connery James Bond films. Oh yes.

The extras are great. Incredible faces, the camera lingering on them. And the zither music. Oh, the incessant zither music. What are those Austrians doing to us?

But the great star is Vienna itself – rubble and ruins and faded glory. Europe was battered.  People were displaced and hungry and desperate. The streets were dark. The perfect setting to make some money.

My 15 year old was by far and away the youngest person in the cinema, which is a shame. This is a masterclass in expressionist film-making. I’m still shocked that Carol Reed got his Oscar for Oliver! – but at least he got one. 

About sarahsouthwest

I'm now in my early 50s. I started writing again as a way of exploring the world, and feel that over the last 2 years I have really grown as a writer. By day I work with children and young people with mental health difficulties. I juggle my own two children, my work, my writing practice, generally managing to keep all the balls up in the air.
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3 Responses to The Third Man

  1. Glad to see you are showing the younger generation what British Film making was all about once upon a time before Hollywood finally glitzed over all our expectations

    Another of my favourite films Sarah (I like so many pre Blade Runner!) – all the noirs of course. Trevor Howard is archetypal Brit and an unusual heartthrob but Brief Encounter did it for me! This film was one of the greats with that trio of actors directed by Reed – novelette & script written of course by Graham Greene.

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