Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Movie Moment: Orson Welles in "The Third Man"

Lest I be misunderstood, as the to the "type" of intellectual I am, following on from the Henry Vaughan poem...I am now shifting gear to something completely different. (Well almost).

Old movies. Classic movies.

I've gone through stages in my life where I enjoy old movies, and by now I have watched quite a few. Recently I've started watching some old videos that I bought (before my DVD), many of which I have never watched yet. (I confess, I like to buy things, and then store them, I am a hoarder of note).

Over the Easter weekend I watched "There's no Business like Show Business" (1954) with Ethel Merman, Donald O'Connor (better known as Gene Kelly's sidekick in Singin' in the Rain), Marilyn Monroe and Mitzi Gaynor (She's gonna wash that may right out of her hair...). Will be handing this movie over to my parents, was not particularly impressed (seemed to have outgrown the cheesy musicals, though I must confess that I've been a huge fan before).

Also watched 'Dial M for Murder' - a Hitchcock classic. Pretty good, though will be watching more of those in the future, so perhaps a future blog on one of those, or his movies in general.

Finally, I watched 'The Third Man'. I've read a few Graham Greene's over the years (not so many, but a few), but not this one. It was pretty kul...except for one particular moment in the movie which was outstanding. Just as the light from the window illumninates Harry Lyme (Orson Welles)'s face, revealing him to his old friend Holly Martins (who up to then believed he was dead) - an outstanding movie moment.

I've seen a few Orson Welles movies before (it turns out) - The Lady from Shanghai, and Othello, but that scene alone made me realise why Orson Welles is so legendary. The expression on his face as the light hit, and he realised that his secret was out was one of pure wryness. Truly a moment whereby the expression said it all, and nothing further needed to be said!

The movie itself is also an interesting play between the moral squalour after the war, and loyalty and friendship. In the end, morality and friendship both win. I may just have to buy the book!

p.s. Picture source: (I tried to contact them to find out whether I had to pay any royalties, but their "contact us" address didn't work!)

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