Third Man Film Noir

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The Third Man is a film noir mystery that exudes in a dreamlike setting, creating a world that is even more exaggerated, disturbing, and strange. The location in the film is post-war Vienna, despite having been once a beautiful, thriving city, however, in the aftermath of the war with Nazi Germany, has left it partially obliterated, with impact carters, abandon buildings, and crumbling foundation. Nevertheless, Vienna still holds its old world charms intact through its people and surviving architecture as the main character played by actor Joseph Cotten ventures onto the cobblestone streets, grand archways, traveling deeper into the city, and the mystery of who the third man was that found the body of his dead friend. This interesting backdrop isn’t missed by the filmmakers, who use it in the classic film noir style by masterfully employing the use of natural symbols, light and shadows, and utilizing them, as mentioned in Foster Hirsch‘s book, The…show more content…
John Grant, author of A Comprehensive Encyclopedia of Film Noir: The Essential Reference Guide notes that “The Third Man ranks as #1 in the British Film Institute’s list of the top 100 UK movies, and the ranking is merited; it retains the same immediacy today it had on release“ (Grant 641). And decidedly so, it ranks high on film noir list, and even gains tops marks for being regarded as an outstanding film in its own right, and as Hirsch points out, the film is “strongly influenced by German Expressionism, noir operates in a world of virtuoso contrasts between light and shadows“ (Hirsch 106). Orson Welles is seen throughout the movie in cleverly deigned silhouettes, mostly at night, with shots of near total darkness, caught between search lights and the eerie echoes in the

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