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

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Movies That Everyone Should See: “Citizen Kane”

In 1941, Orson Welles co-wrote, directed and starred in “Citizen Kane”. It was his first feature-length film in each regard. Though a box office disappointment at the time of its release, it has since come to be regarded as “The Greatest Film of All Time”.

Not bad for a rookie.

And yet, the same brash, talented persona that led him to take bold chances as a filmmaker with “Kane” led him to challenge one of the most powerful men in America via its very creation. It was a legendary act of hubris and daring which would have a profound impact on Welles’ career, and almost undo the film itself.

And thus “Citizen Kane” is not just “The Greatest Film” of all time, but one of the most legendary film stories of all time.

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Movies That Everyone Should See: “The Third Man”

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film noir [film nwahr]

-noun

1) A motion picture with an often grim urban setting, photographed in somber tones and permeated by a feeling of disillusionment, pessimism and despair.

[Origin 1955-1960, French, literally: black film]

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