The Third Man
Beautiful Black & White
I will start off with the negatives: Although the story is complex and manages the audience to keep guessing until near the end, I didnít think the story was exceptional. Itís hard to really get into it because thereís more than a handful of characters that may or may not be important as the picture goes on. This picture would have been fine if there were less characters. As for its positives, I think this film is beautifully shot in black-and-white. The shadows are pronounced, as if they were characters themselves. Interesting camera angles are aboundĖsometimes surprising because we are occassionally forced to see certain scenes from a characterís perspective. To me, there were four stand-out scenes: when the audiences finally realizes the meaning of the movieís title, the ferris wheel, the showdown in the sewers, and the last scene involving the beauty of nature. Itís hard to forget those scenes because most modern films canít quite match the mastery of simplicity. They either succeed by itís noticeable that they are trying too hard or they completely fail. Itís impressive to see a film thatís about fifty years old to be completely fresh. Finally, I must commend Joseph Cotten and Orson Welles. Every time theyíre on screen together, the picture ignites and is heart-pounding. This is by no means the most memorable noir film Iíve ever seen but it is one of the most beautiful.