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The Third Man

by The Staff on June 12, 2014


Most of the great films made in the wake of World War II came from Italy. But not all: Carol Reed’s The Third Man, filmed in Vienna, is a beguiling thriller that deftly mixes greed, politics, murder, mystery and romance with a world-weary tone reflecting the great city’s—indeed, the world’s—changed circumstances.

Joseph Cotten is a writer of Western novels lured to Europe by an old school friend with a mysterious business opportunity. When this innocent arrives in Vienna, his friend is dead and the business turns out to have been very nasty indeed.

The great cast includes Alida Valli, Trevor Howard and, in the greatest cameo in movie history, Orson Welles. Welles’ disquisition on murder, money and democracy (which he wrote) is a horrifying delight.

The Third Man will be shown Monday (June 16) at 2:30, 5 and 7:30 PM on the big Mainstage screen at Proctors (432 State St., Schenectady) as part of the AFI 100 series. Tickets are $5. For more info, call 346-6204.