Yojimbo's Movie Review of The Third Man

Rating of

The Third Man

"The Third Man" by Yojimbo
Yojimbo - wrote on 03/04/12

A down on his luck pulp novelist arrives in post war Vienna on the promise of a job from an old friend, only to find he has been killed in a car accident. Convinced of a conspiracy, he investigates. Graham Greene's adaptation of his own novel has a hell of a lot to commend it; an intriguing mystery set in beautiful locations, with some gorgeous cinematography and full of wonderfully framed shots by director Carol Reed. Cotten makes an interesting departure from the usual Noir protagonist, both a fish out of water AND out of his depth. Trevor Howard is also great as the officious British investigator and Alida Valli is a beautiful, vulnerable yet complex love interest. It has only one flaw for me, but it's a near fatal one. The soundtrack is so intrusive and inappropriate it almost wrecks the film completely. It is far too loud, totally antagonistic towards the atmosphere the director and cinematographer had worked so hard to achieve and virtually constant. It's like trying to watch The Maltese Falcon sat next to the band in a Greek restaurant and it seriously grated on my nerves. It's a real shame because pretty much everything else about this film is excellent.

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