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Summary of the 3rd man The Third Man 1949 is a visually-stylish thriller - a story of social economic and moral corruption in a depressed rotting and crumbling 20th century Vienna following World War II The striking film-noirish shadowy thriller was filmed expressionistically within the decadent and poisoned city sector-divided along geo-political lines The black and white pessimistic film is one of the greatest British thrillers of the post-war era in the best Alfred Hitchcock tradition and beautifully produced and directed by Britisher Carol Reed It was co-produced by Hungarian Alexander Korda and American David O Selznick Because Korda gave American distribution rights to Selznick who cut eleven minutes from the original British version the credits of the US version include Selznick references This was Reeds second collaboration with screenwriter Graham Greene - a clever mystery tale of a love triangle with nightmarish suspense treachery betrayal guilt and disillusionment Its two most famous sequences include the Ferris-wheel showdown high atop a deserted fairground and the climactic chase through the underground network of sewers The director knew that the films musical score could not be reflective of the traditional Old Vienna - waltz music by Strauss Instead it would be provided by a solo instrument -- a zither The jaunty musical score by Viennese composerperformer Anton Karas lingers long after the films viewing with its twangy mermerizing lamenting disconcerting and sometimes irritating hurdy-gurdy tones In fact Karas musical instrument was a leading film character and advertised as such Hell have you in a dither with his zither a laptop string instrument The insistent chilling music sets a mood of polarized dislocations in the world eg war and play men and children and in the corrupted citys no-mans-land environment with its bombed out war-torn ruins dark and slick streets cemeteries and sewers criss-crossing beneath the sectored zones Surprisingly it was nominated for only three Academy Awards including Best Director and Best Film Editing Its sole Oscar
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