Anton Karas: The Third Man Theme

One of the greatest movies of all time is The Third Man, which is based on a novella by Graham Greene. On one level, it is a story of espionage and criminality in post-World War II Vienna. The real story is the dehumanizing impact of the two wars. It’s a perfect film, which was directed by Carol Reed and starred Orson Welles, Joseph Cotten and Alida Valli.

One of the reasons the film is so good is the haunting melody above, which is played by Anton Karas, a Hungarian zither player. It pops up throughout the movie. The Beatles even covered the tune.

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2 Responses

  1. Soul of Wit

    Thank heavens for Netflix. This is one of many great films that I have seen via disc by mail. Many of the IMDB comments don’t praise the score. This is a film of contrasts, and the light, all-zither score is part of that. More on the topic of this blog, I love when a song combines dark lyrics and light music.

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