The Third Man - Criterion Collection

Orson Welles appearances in The Third Man are brief, a cameo really, but he carries it with such dark charm & menace that his performance endures in the viewers' memory years later. Set in post-war Vienna the ruins of the city are a protagonist in their own right. It passes judgement on each character by placing them in shadows cast from broken walls or capturing them in starkly angular patches of light. Welles, for his part, spends most of his screen time shrouded in darkness, a state of being he clearly takes pleasure in.

Carol Reed's noir classic features a tight script, beautiful cinematography and deft composition of each scene. The best way to enjoy it is with the Criterion Collection 2 disc set available at Amazon. It's not just for film aficionados, this movie seduces all who witness it.

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