Catching the Classics: The Third Man

Third Man PosterSince 1998, I have been maintaining a list of movies that I wanted to see. Sometimes these are all-time classics that passed me by, sometimes they’re genre classics that interest me. The list grows regularly and is currently more than 1800 movies long. Fogs has gone through and hand-picked several classic films for me to “fast-track” and review here. This is one of those films.

It’s almost impossible to be a movie fan and not have heard of Orson Welles. Both as a director and an actor, his acclaim and influence are widespread. But as with a lot of classic actors, it’s possible to know of his work without actually knowing his work. My introduction to Welles came in my childhood, with his cameo in The Muppet Movie and his final role as a planet-eating robot in The Transformers: The Movie. While fun, neither is likely to be considered a definitive role for him. Then in seventh grade my English teacher played some of the old Shadow radio programs for us, and I learned to appreciate Welles’ delivery. But actually seeing him in action, in a major live-action role, always seemed to elude me. So one of the points of “Catching the Classics” was to finally rectify this matter. And although Citizen Kane will eventually be on the docket as well, I decided that first I wanted to check out his performance in Carol Reed’s The Third Man. Continue reading