The Third Man
Anton Karas

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Anton Karas' film for an Orson Welles picture climbs 10 places

With a screenplay by novelist Graham Greene, directed by Carol Reed and starring Orson Welles in one of his most celebrated roles as the elusive Harry Lime, The Third Man (1949) is one of those rare movies where the music carries as much weight as the characters that appear in it. Written by Anton Karas and played on a zither, the composer was discovered playing his instrument in a restaurant by director Reed who was keen to avoid the waltzes that stereotyped the setting of a post-war Vienna. The jaunty nature of the music is starkly juxtaposed against the bleak worldview perpetrated by Lime and the backdrop of a city trying to rebuild itself in the aftermath of World War Two.