HomeMovie MusicAnton Karas: The Third Man Theme Carl September 1, 2012 Movie Music 3 Comments 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.