Thursday, July 21, 2011

Mystery #5 - The Third Man (1950)

The Third Man is another film noir movie, which means it was very cynical and depressing, which is always nice. However, because of the way the sound is recorded, and because everyone has a weird accent and everyone's German, I found it really hard to understand the dialogue in this movie. It was therefore really hard for me to follow the storyline of the movie, so I felt really disconnected from the movie. I didn't absorb the themes or the characters or the moral dilemmas or anything. It was just another slightly-muffled film noir movie, although it did have a really cool-looking Ferris wheel toward the end, which was great visually, and another image at the end that really stuck with me, with trees and a car and a girl walking. It looked really great. But that was about it.

Other than those things, and the balloon salesman, there really was only one thing about this movie that I feel will stick with me. Orson Welles is in this movie. He's only in it for...maybe ten minutes, but he is a scene-stealer, I tell you. I knew that Orson Welles was supposed to be a really good actor, but I'd never seen him in anything before this, and I didn't know what he looked like. He has top billing on the Netflix instant menu, so I had figured that he was the main character. The guy who actually plays the main character, Joseph Cotten, isn't really all that impressive, and I was really confused. "Is that Orson Welles?" I said to myself. "Well he doesn't seem all that special at all." And then, probably an hour into the movie, the actual Orson Welles showed up, and the minute he started talking I knew - That is Orson Welles. He was amazing. For me, he made this a good movie. All of his lines were good and meaningful and well-delivered, and I could actually understand him, and I almost knew what the movie was about for ten minutes. It was like some crazy, life-changing acting-viewing experience.

The point is, Orson Welles is very good, and he makes this movie awesome. Without him, it's just another film noir movie with a Ferris wheel. I didn't even give a summary of this movie - that's how much Orson Welles takes up The Third Man.

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