Movie Review: No 69. The Third Man

Movie Review: No 69. The Third Man

Andy’s starting to really dislike watching my movies with me. Now, however, in the midst of my ‘No TV’ challenge, there’s really nothing else I can watch with him and so, occasionally, he’ll whip out the latest selection and (somewhat reluctantly) press play.

I really don’t know what his problem is… Although I suspect it might have something to do with the constant moaning emanating from the opposite end of the lounge.

“I’m boooorrrrred….”

“When will it ennnnd Aannnndeee?”

“I’m just going into the other room to shoot myself. Let me know when it’s over”.

‘The Third Man’ was no exception.

Have you ever been doing something unbearably boring and thought to yourself, “I would be better off watching paint dry or grass grow”? That is how I felt watching this movie.

To be fair, the second half of the film certainly picks up the pace in a similar way to ‘North by Northwest‘, however you’ll forgive me if I don’t consider that just compensation for the insufferably drawn-out first half.

Harry Lime: Don’t be so gloomy. After all it’s not that awful. Like the fella says, in Italy for 30 years under the Borgias they had warfare, terror, murder, and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and the Renaissance. In Switzerland they had brotherly love – they had 500 years of democracy and peace, and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock.

Sure, there is a suspenseful chase scene at the end of the film… but never have I more acutely felt the true meaning of the expression, “Cut to the chase!”

The film stars Orson Welles and Joseph Cotten, who we may remember also co-starred in ‘Citizen Kane‘. This film has got the stench of Citizen Kane all over it and it just makes me want to slap Welles on the back of the hand, look firmly into his eyes, and admonish him with a very emphatic “NO”.

It reminds me of the similarly dreadful ‘Apocalypse Now‘, where fresh off the back of crowd-pleasing cinematic success, they foolishly go off to create a monstrous work of rubbish – assuming (in this case, rightly) that the force of their ego will carry them through to further success. ‘The Third Man’ was a smash hit in its day (with Orson Welles drawing in the unsuspecting crowds with the force of a premodern Matt Damon). It was so popular that the soundtrack sold like hotcakes and I can’t even BEGIN to explain how ridiculous that is, so I’ll let the harp-like zither music speak for itself.

“NO Orson Welles. NO.”

Ok, it might not be entirely Welles’ fault, but I do wish he’d stuck to Shakespeare.

3 pumpkins.

Have you seen ‘The Third Man’? Do you agree with my review? Let me know in the comments below.


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