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Author Topic: The Third Man (1949)  (Read 6996 times)
Moorman
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« Reply #30 on: February 28, 2017, 07:07:29 AM »

And the sewer chase scene, although nicely filmed and edited, is a bust. Harry Lime is the bad guy, after all. We don't want him to get away. There's no suspense if we aren't rooting for the character to escape his trap. And since we know the villain is going to have to pay up, the ending is never in doubt. Very dull filmmaking.

IS he the bad guy?  IS there a bad guy? Thats part of the problem of the film.  A lot of people would say that Lime was a good guy.  The stuff he was doing was wrong on the surface, but at the same time, he was providing medication that otherwise wouldn't have been available to people that needed it.  During the chase scene, i initially didn't know whether i wanted him caught or not, because, like i said, the director wasn't clear on this thing.  WHERE was the director going with all this?  What was his point?  I finally decided i wanted Lime caught because SOMEBODY had to pay for me sitting thru almost 2 hours of this nonsense...lol...

« Last Edit: February 28, 2017, 07:11:07 AM by Moorman » Logged

Novecento
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« Reply #31 on: February 28, 2017, 07:19:24 AM »

Dare I say, the best "British" film ever....

Then again, as we've discussed before, assigning specific countries to films is a complicated topic.

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stanton
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« Reply #32 on: February 28, 2017, 08:29:46 AM »

And the sewer chase scene, although nicely filmed and edited, is a bust. Harry Lime is the bad guy, after all. We don't want him to get away. There's no suspense if we aren't rooting for the character to escape his trap. And since we know the villain is going to have to pay up, the ending is never in doubt. Very dull filmmaking.

I wanted him to get away.

Now check what you have written for all the genre films you like. For 98 % the ending is never in doubt.

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« Reply #33 on: February 28, 2017, 09:52:49 AM »

IS he the bad guy?  IS there a bad guy? Thats part of the problem of the film.  A lot of people would say that Lime was a good guy.  The stuff he was doing was wrong on the surface, but at the same time, he was providing medication that otherwise wouldn't have been available to people that needed it.
But in so doing he deprived the orphans in the hospital of the medication they so desperately needed (at least, I think that was the point Trevor Howard was trying to make).

Lime is clearly doing bad things and profiting by it. But he's charming. Apparently, if you're a crypto-fascist like stanton, charm trumps everything (in America, Trump trumps charm, but that's another matter).

Generally, in films with bad guys at the center, we root for them because they're fighting other bad guys who have less going for them. But by making Holly Martins the center (he's there at the beginning, he's there at the end, his quest is what drives the film), we are given a very obvious contrast between good and evil, charming as the latter may be. That visit to the hospital is dispositive. Sympathizing with Lime is like sympathizing with Hitler.

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« Reply #34 on: February 28, 2017, 11:38:01 AM »

But in so doing he deprived the orphans in the hospital of the medication they so desperately needed (at least, I think that was the point Trevor Howard was trying to make).

Lime is clearly doing bad things and profiting by it. But he's charming. Apparently, if you're a crypto-fascist like stanton, charm trumps everything (in America, Trump trumps charm, but that's another matter).

Generally, in films with bad guys at the center, we root for them because they're fighting other bad guys who have less going for them. But by making Holly Martins the center (he's there at the beginning, he's there at the end, his quest is what drives the film), we are given a very obvious contrast between good and evil, charming as the latter may be. That visit to the hospital is dispositive. Sympathizing with Lime is like sympathizing with Hitler.

Well. You cleared that up.  Lime was a bad dude.  So, it was more clear cut than i thought...

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« Reply #35 on: February 28, 2017, 12:44:53 PM »

I never had sympathies for Lime. Not only because of the fact that he's a rascal (from other people's stories) with petty charm and the dealing of the bad medicine to kids, but because of the context of his actions and the psychological profile of the character (as well as everything around him). That together says clearly he on some level must have known it was a very realistic scenario that something could/might/will get wrong, but he did it anyway. Why many can't shake off the feeling of him being good - and thus explore the movie with the adequate lenses - is because we first experience him through the person of his (best) friend. Which is only mildly flavored, cautionally flawed, but not in a obvious, blatant way, thanks mostly to J. Cotten's appearance and acting skills. That's overall a great maneuver, or a psychological trap if you will, because from the entry point his image slowly crumbles and it becomes obvious as the story progresses that he will not be able to survive in such form (or any), and that he will have to either explain his action, reverse them or change in the future - all of which he can not.

It's a great movie because of n other things, but I did not like it the first time I saw it.

« Last Edit: February 28, 2017, 12:57:23 PM by Dust Devil » Logged



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« Reply #36 on: February 28, 2017, 02:44:02 PM »

I think there is no doubt about the fact that Harry Lime is the bad guy.
He’s not just embroiled in shady business dealings, he stole penicillin from hospitals, diluted it and sold it back on the black market. This adulterated penicillin crippled and deformed children and “the lucky children died, the unlucky ones went off their heads.”

It’s all there in his quote:
“Victims? Don't be melodramatic. Look down there. Tell me. Would you really feel any pity if one of those dots stopped moving forever? If I offered you twenty thousand pounds for every dot that stopped, would you really, old man, tell me to keep my money, or would you calculate how many dots you could afford to spare?”

This quote together with his cuckoo clock speech expresses his philosophy. Evil is justifiable when it produces greatness. Or simply money.

Yes, he’s charming, fascinating, handsome and charismatic but pure evil nevertheless. He is simply supremely selfish. Other peoples’ lives do not matter.
When we see him the first time there is an almost child-like but very seductive smile on his face and his playful personality invites the audience to dismiss all of the accusations against his character right away.
That we can’t hate Welles is simply due to his brilliance, he manages to almost capsize the film with his charisma.
He certainly has Holly fooled, but then Holly is naive and pure of heart. His perspective on life has been simplified to match the structure of the pulp Westerns he writes. With his notions of fairness and morality he is no match for a true Noir villain.

I love this movie. On a scale from 1 to 10, I'd give it a 15. The only other 40s movie that comes close to this is Citizen Kane.

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cigar joe
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« Reply #37 on: February 28, 2017, 03:36:05 PM »

It's not overrated think about it, English, German, and Russian spoken no subs, a great International Noir if there ever was one. One of my faves too upping previous rating to 10/10

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« Reply #38 on: February 28, 2017, 06:04:25 PM »

It's not overrated think about it, English, German, and Russian spoken no subs, a great International Noir if there ever was one. One of my faves too upping previous rating to 10/10

You are upping your rating based on a few posts on a message board?Huh?

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« Reply #39 on: February 28, 2017, 06:14:47 PM »

Dare I say, the best "British" film ever....

Then again, as we've discussed before, assigning specific countries to films is a complicated topic.

It certainly does get my vote for the best noir ever - quite an achievement for a British film in what is essentially an American genre (albeit having visual roots in Germany)

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cigar joe
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« Reply #40 on: February 28, 2017, 06:57:07 PM »

You are upping your rating based on a few posts on a message board?Huh?

Fuck no, you should know me better than that, I've watched numerous times on my Criterion Collection DVD since I've posted my original rating.

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« Reply #41 on: February 28, 2017, 07:05:29 PM »

To me this movie is like a slightly better version of the excruciating MR. ARKADIN. Just a bunch of endless weird-angle shots of people talking that seem to exist for no purpose other than being weird-angle shots. Yeah, I get it, you can hold the camera  at a weird angle and get an unusual  shot of someone talking. Gets tiresome very quickly.

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« Reply #42 on: February 28, 2017, 07:17:11 PM »

Quote
Gets tiresome very quickly.
I weep.  Cry Cry Cry Angry

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cigar joe
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« Reply #43 on: February 28, 2017, 07:33:40 PM »

Quote
Gets tiresome very quickly.

Sadly coming from a supposed appreciator of fine art, the cinematography is sublime, fuck off you philistine.  Sad  Wink

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« Reply #44 on: February 28, 2017, 10:55:32 PM »

Show me this movie is like a slightly better version of the excruciating MR. ARKADIN. Just a bunch of endless weird-angle shots of people talking that seem to exist for no purpose other than being weird-angle shots. Yeah, I get it, you can hold the camera  at a weird angle and get an unusual  shot of someone talking. Gets tiresome very quickly.

lol...

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