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Thread: The Third Man

  1. #41
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    John, this is my understanding as well. I believe this story even achieved "Sweater-Girl at Schwabbs Pharmacy" status in the composer community.

    My hubby thinks his days of pink mohair v-necks and loudly slurping ice-cream sodas over his zither are a thing of the past. I kept telling him, "Don't wear the purple pumps! Try the pink ones - just once!"

    At least it got him out of the French upstairs-maid uniform... darn...

  2. #42
    Senior Member Country: England John Llewellyn Moxey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChristineCB
    SO wonderful, Steve! Thanks. I try to play it but I end up wishing for two more hands.
    Quote Originally Posted by ChristineCB
    John, this is my understanding as well. I believe this story even achieved "Sweater-Girl at Schwabbs Pharmacy" status in the composer community.

    My hubby thinks his days of pink mohair v-necks and loudly slurping ice-cream sodas over his zither are a thing of the past. I kept telling him, "Don't wear the purple pumps! Try the pink ones - just once!"

    At least it got him out of the French upstairs-maid uniform... darn...
    I am told you can never go wrong in pink. However I find it hard to believe!

    MAIDS UNIFORM!! ( Thump)



    John Llewellyn

  3. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Llewellyn Moxey
    I do believe that Oswald Haferichter ( spelling?) the editor of thr Third Man, and a friend of mine; heard him play at a cafe..Took carol Reed to hear him, and that's how it all started.

    John Llwewllyn
    Yep! That's what they say at Wikipedia as well.

  4. #44
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    I sometimes wonder if this music would have been so memorably distinctive if the film had been terrible. But I can think of unfavorite films with memorable music, but I suspect everyone remembers the sound of a dental drill, too.



    Still, Karas' zither is such an integral part to this film.

  5. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChristineCB
    I sometimes wonder if this music would have been so memorably distinctive if the film had been terrible.
    Berneard Herrman's music for Psycho was the best thing about the film.

    Ta Ta

    Marky B

  6. #46
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    Marky, I disagree because I like PSYCHO.



    To me, the only memorable, scene-recalling music is the Shower Scene nails-on-blackboard music. But when I hear this without any video, I can't recall if it's the PSYCHO Shower Scene bit, James Stewart's "struggling-up-staircase in VERTIGO" music, or if it's Raymond Burr's final charge against poor crippled Jimmy in REAR WINDOW (poor Jimmy - stuck the whole film with a girlfriend like Grace Kelly - poooor Jimmy).



    When I hear other Herrmann music from Hitchcock films, I recall it but it's not linked to its films the way Karas' music is to THIRD MAN.



    The use of "Waltzing Matilda" in ON THE BEACH matches THIRD MAN, however. In both of these films - unlike the Hitchcock/Herrmann works - there is essentially only one tune being played - sometimes at different tempos or different segment, but it's basically a single tune.



    Herrmann's scores have a variety of music - which fit well into different scenes, but I think this is why I don't relate any one bit of Herrmann music to any one film - not immediately, that is.



    At the same time, HAROLD AND MAUDE uses different music on different scenes, but those are songs, not exactly 'mood music only' so the words can tie themselves into my peabrain memory.

  7. #47
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    We'll have to agree to disagree on Psycho,but I do like the rest of what you have written.

    Ta Ta

    Marky B

  8. #48
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    The other question I have - about my noticing music, or whether music becomes "memorable" or the concept of "associated to a single movie" - does this have to do with the number of times I've seen the film?



    I don't know. HAROLD AND MAUDE, ON THE BEACH, THIRD MAN. Those are oft-watched films.



    But they also don't entice me to watch another film 'of their kind'. Because, frankly, there's few films like them. HAROLD & MAUDE has Bud Cort's other fun "Brewster McCloud". ON THE BEACH has a lot of other End-Of-World types, but nothing quite compares to it - maybe DR STRANGELOVE but on a whole different level. And THIRD MAN? There's nothing like it.



    But when it comes to Hitchcock films, when the mood hits, I can run thru Psycho, Frenzy, and several others. Maybe so much of that is Herrmann music that I don't bother separating it or studying it.



    And maybe it's also because Herrmann isn't scoring "songs".



    What's the only Hitchcock film with a "song" in it?



    Doris Day's QUE SERA SERA from MAN WHO KNEW? I think so.



    Maybe that's why I don't associate any specific Herrmann piece except for the Shower Scene music, and even then, my first reactions are "Warning! Warning!"

  9. #49
    Senior Member Country: England Santonix's Avatar
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    Just as an aside to this fascinating discussion, the music for Hitchcock's Frenzy was composed by Ron Goodwin.

  10. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by Santonix
    Just as an aside to this fascinating discussion, the music for Hitchcock's Frenzy was composed by Ron Goodwin.
    You're right. Apparently,Hitch wasn't happy with the score originally written byhis old mukker,Bernard Hermann,and then they fell out,so our Ron was drafted in. Good score it was too.

    Ta Ta

    Marky B

  11. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChristineCB
    Doris Day's QUE SERA SERA from MAN WHO KNEW? I think so.

    Indeedily,deedily,doodily - garnering an Oscar for Jay Livingston and Ray Evans.



    Maybe that's why I don't associate any specific Herrmann piece except for the Shower Scene music, and even then, my first reactions are "Warning! Warning!"
    Hermann's score served as a menacing undertone for the film. When Marion Crane was driving away from Pheonix,without the music,she could have been on her way to her mother's,or aunt's,but the music suggested she was on her way to her death.

    John Williams did the same for Jaws - before Chrissie and Alex were attacked by the shark,Williams' famous score came in. However,the scene on the 4 July beach,when there was an underwater shot of the bathers - no music,no danger.

    Ta Ta

    Marky B

  12. #52
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    I've been musing about great movies that have a fundamental defect in the plotting. "The Third Man" comes to mind where Holly Martens is summoned to Vienna by his pal, Harry Lime, offering him a job. "He must have known I was broke because he sent an airline ticket," he says to Major Calloway. But in the days just after the war, how would he have used an airline ticket? Flying across the Atlantic (and we have to assume Martens comes from the States) was still pretty much a military business and even by 1948 travel space was still in great demand. (Remind me tell you about a chartered flying boat of that year called "The Bermuda Sky Queen.")




    Ted, Ottawa

  13. #53
    Senior Member Country: UK Moor Larkin's Avatar
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    I enjoyed watching this again the other evening. Having read the preceeding posts, I noticed there is no comment about the amount of German being spoken, untranslated and unsubtitled, in a British movie made in 1949. (I know Holly gives us an idiots translation as we go) Given the war-movie tradition of having German spoken in English with a heavy accent, this struck me as somehow odd, coupled with the notion that the sound of German may still have fallen a little harshly on British ears at least. The sugar on the pill was perhaps that this was actually Vienna, rather than Berlin, but... I just wondered about it all. Has there ever been any commentary on this aspect ?



    There seems a view that there was controversy over the American being portrayed as a bit thick in the head, but what about the Deutsche? ......... I mean I was still buying war comics in the 1960's where Germans often were very big with square heads and all they ever ever said was "Donner und Blitzen" or "Achtung", yet here was a very literate movie with sympathetic German speaking characters.... and the Russians already seemed to be the real bad guys.........



    Food for thought anyone ?



    I thought for a while Carol might have been a name-flip for Karel but that was a major misconception on my part.... maybe the rest is too..







    PS... Anyone else notice that Geoffrey Keen changes to a different person after his main scene?... when the girl is being passed from Russian to British offices.... Or am I hallucinating? - I didn't video it to check.

  14. #54
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    One of my absolute favourite films, and surely one of the finest ever made. The cinematography and music are almost suffocatingly evocative. The use of undubbed German - indeed something of a novelty - was a deliberate strategy to add to the sense of foreignness, other-worldliness. What they say translates to little of significance but adds enormously to the edginess and uncertainty of the setting.



    Some films have a signature scene of great brilliance. The Third Man has one after the other - from the zither-accompanied opening titles to the entry of Lime in the doorway to the ride on the ferris wheel to the chase through the sewers to the astounding finale on the tree-lined avenue. Breath-taking genius from start to finish.

  15. #55
    Senior Member Country: Europe Bernardo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moor Larkin
    I enjoyed watching this again the other evening. Having read the preceeding posts, I noticed there is no comment about the amount of German being spoken, untranslated and unsubtitled, in a British movie made in 1949. (I know Holly gives us an idiots translation as we go) Given the war-movie tradition of having German spoken in English with a heavy accent,




    No one can deny that this film is a work of arts, dramatic, aural and visual. Reading this post, though, my mind immediately seized upon and recalled the spoof language convention in Allo Allo and destroyed any sensitivity I was feeling for The Third Man.

  16. #56
    Senior Member HUGHJAMPTON's Avatar
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    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q6zLJrfoKyQ

    As this won't post properly, (due to a malformed ID), you can use this as a link through to YouTube. Part 3, deals with the Central European actors used in the film.

  17. #57
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    Every year I ask myself is this the best film ever and the answer is always yes.

  18. #58
    Senior Member Country: UK Moor Larkin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stevie boy
    Every year I ask myself is this the best film ever and the answer is always yes.
    Next year, could you check out the sequences with Geoffrey Keen and see if my notion that he is replaced by a different actor late in his scenes is correct or not....

  19. #59
    Super Moderator Country: UK batman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moor Larkin
    Next year, could you check out the sequences with Geoffrey Keen and see if my notion that he is replaced by a different actor late in his scenes is correct or not....
    I don't know about the later scenes .... but he definitely appears, disappears and then re-appears again in the Jeep at the start of the film.

  20. #60
    Senior Member Country: UK charliekane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marky B
    You're right. Apparently,Hitch wasn't happy with the score originally written byhis old mukker,Bernard Hermann,and then they fell out,so our Ron was drafted in. Good score it was too.

    Ta Ta

    Marky B
    Don't believe Bernard Herrmann was involved with Frenzy - they fell out over Torn Curtain when Hitch (pressured by Universal) wanted a 'hit' soundtrack which Herrmann's wasn't, though superior to the one by Richard Addinsell that was used. He never worked with Hitchcock again after that.

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