Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Summer cinema: The Third Man

After Destry Rides Again and Guys and Dolls, I take a nerdy pleasure in the symmetry of The Third Man being the third movie I saw in the summer film series at Paramount.  This is one of those movies that I sort of knew that I should see at some point, but had never really gotten around to.  They also screened Citizen Kane as the second film in the double feature, but I had to work the next day, so that's still on my list.  'Rosebud...'

I love old movies, and this was no exception.  Intrigue, style, setting, some great chase scenes, and a lack of cynicism that you see in movies today after all of the things I've just listed have been done and done again.  As Holly Martins bumbles around in his own investigation of the death of his friend, he makes the kinds of mistakes that left me laughing, but I imagine that at the time the results of his ineptitude wouldn't have been quite as expected.  There's something refreshing about seeing twists before they became tropes.

I also learned that animals are all on the side of evil:

  • A parrot bites the protagonist
  • A cat cuddles with the shadowy figure of Orson Welles
  • A small dog plays the chihuahua to another villain's Paris Hilton
So, that was the third movie in my personal Paramount series.  I was going to see the fourth movie last week, but President Obama made an appearance at the Paramount the next morning, so presumably it was being made threat-proof instead of being filled with people who wanted to see The Red Shoes.  I'll just have to see it some other time.  Hopefully no heads of state are planning on being there on Thursday, so I'm still safe to go and see The Heiress tomorrow.

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