Essay about The Third Man, Historical Analysis

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The Third Man, Historical Analysis A Review of the Film

The Third Man, was filmed in post World War II Vienna, releasing in 1949. The film was written by Graham Greene, directed by Carol Reed, and produced by the American David Selznick and the British Michael Korda. The black and white, pessimistic film “is one of the greatest British thrillers of the post-war era, in the best Alfred Hitchcock tradition, and beautifully produced….It was voted the #1 British Film of the 20th Century” (Tim Dirkes, Filmsite Review) Holly Martins, the unemployed American writer of western novels, comes to Vienna out of disparity. Holly gets invited to Vienna to work by his childhood friend, Harry Lime: It is their friendship that
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The light and darkness exemplify the contrast of the deception and friendship Holly Martins feels for lime. The producers utilized the setting exceptionally to convey the feeling of a dark time, and Viennese hopelessness in the Post War era.

Characterization: How does the characterization of Holly Martins show the real-life historical attitude of the average person in the post war era?

In the beginning of the film, Holly Martins, the naïve American, has a strong and driven character of honesty, and power. He is motivated to find “The Third Man”, who killed his childhood friend. His attitude is much like the American civilian’s attitude in post WWII “Americans had great prosperity…rebellion and alternative lifestyles’” (Duke Edu.), unlike the pessimistic Viennese attitudes. Martin’s thinks the British authorities have not taken the Lime murder seriously, especially Major Calloway. The authorities are careless and oblivious to the importance of a “third man.” Due to Holly Martins drive for justice, Major Calloway reveals Harry Lime failed as a friend and failed morally. To Martins, this reveals what a dishonest friend he was to him. His character is so honest, and moral, he rebels, and becomes out of character. In a conversation to Anna, he says: HOLLY: Seventy pounds a tube. He wanted me to write for his great medical charity . . . . Perhaps I could

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