The Third Man
1948
*****
Director: Carol Reed
Cast: Joseph Cotten, Alida Valli, Orson Welles, Trevor Howard, Bernard Lee, Wilfrid Hyde-White, Erich Ponto, Ernst Deutsch

A masterful film noir mystery based on Graham Greene’s original screenplay. An American pulp novelist comes to Vienna which is divided into four occupation zones. He is desperate to find out what happened to his friend, but he keeps running into a stone wall. Although Orson Welles is on screen for about 10 minutes, the film is best remembered for his commanding cameo, and for Robert Krasker’s dramatic, Oscar-winning black and white cinematography. Anton Karas’s title theme on the zither and the climactic showdown in the bowels of the city are some of the other enduring elements of this classic.