Showing posts with the label The Third Man

The Adventures of Harry Lime

This British radio program went by the name “The Lives of Harry Lime” stateside. It starred Orson Welles as Harry Lime, his character in the 1949 film The Third Man. The radio iteration serves as a prequel, revealing Lime’s adventures on an earlier chronological plane. Each episode begins with a gunshot and Welles saying, in a sepulchral tone, “that was the shot that killed Harry Lime.” After a couple of sentences of exposition, this stock intro continues with Welles intoning, “Harry Lime had many lives. And I can recount all of them. How do I know? It’s simple. Because my name is Harry Lime.” Each story commences with Lime narrating in a near-mumble and in a slightly glib, world-weary tone. The British running dates of the series were Aug. 3, 1951-Jul. 25, 1952, with all 35 episodes airing later in syndication in the U.S. Hear all 52 episodes of HARRY LIME! The show was produced by Harry Alan Towers, with episodes directed by Towers, Welles, and Tig Roe. Bes

European Film: The Third Man (1949)

This 1949 classic stars Welles, Joseph Cotten , Alida Valli and Trevor Howard, and chronicles pulp novelist Holly Martins who travels to Vienna and ends up investigating the death of an old friend, Harry Lime. He eventually discovers that the man he’d seen in a coffin at the narrative’s outset had not in fact been Lime. It won Oscars for Best Cinematography, Black and White, and for Best Director (Carol Reed). Welles played the role of  Harry Lime , who, while being a major entity in the narrative, did not appear on screen for much of the movie. Welles was responsible largely for acting in one scene, a chase through the sewers. Upon arriving for his brief stay in Vienna, Welles found himself staying next door to his fetching co-star, Alida Valli . However, nothing romantic developed between the two, a circumstance he would later bemoan.  “I see The Third Man every two or three years,” he told biographer Barbara Leaming , “and I look at Alida Valli , and I say, ‘What was in you

Orson Welles Best Films

Citizen Kane By the accounts of nearly all the experts Kane is one of the very best movies ever made. It was ahead of its time stylistically, bold in structure, and compelling in its narrative. Citizen Kane was not only Orson Welles’ best film, but his first. With it, he went from being a big--though still relatively new--figure in the New York drama scene, as well as a radio star, to being hailed as a film director of prodigious talent and boundless potential. For Citizen Kane, Welles cast many of his Mercury Theatre veterans. Joseph Cotten played Jedediah Leland; Dorothy Comingore played Susan Alexander Kane; Agnes Moorehead was Mary Kane, Ruth Warrick, Emily Monroe Norton Kane, Everett Sloane, Mr. Bernstein. Welles starred as the man himself, Charles Foster Kane. The story centers around a gaggle of reporters chasing the meaning of the last word, “Rosebud,” of Charles Foster Kane, an iconic and enigmatic newspaper publisher. Their journey takes the viewer through

Orson Welles Film Noir

Film noir is usually thought of as a style marked by a thematic focus on gritty crime, with crooked detectives and colorful criminals, and black and white compositions with harsh shadows and streetlights falling across the characters at sharp angles. Welles’ film noir moments came in a few of his projects, particularly those early and midway through his career. One familiar with Citizen Kane can see that the classic does embody some of the stylistic traits noted above, and because of this, it can be said to have influenced the genre. Lady From Shanghai would mark Welles’ directorial foray into elements of noir. One noir trait it embodies is the fall guy and femme fatale paradigm, with Michael O’Hara (Welles) as the former and Elsa Bannister (Rita Hayworth) as the latter. The film also has an air of hopelessness, of the main characters stepping into webs from which they won’t be able to escape, that is a trait of the noir. However, what links Welles most to film noir here