The Third Man – alive and well in Vienna

Last Wednesday the British Bookshop in Vienna sent out (maybe too many) invitations to an evening with The Third Man. Despite the SRO, it was an interesting evening listening to details about the making of the film which still plays every week in Vienna’s Burg Kino.

Graham Greene wrote the “screenplay” which he first had to write as a story, but Carol Reed, the film’s director, changed the ending to make it an open one.

The event covered Graham Greene’s post-war Vienna and Brigitte Timmermann (of Walks in Vienna) presented her book The Third Man’s Vienna: Celebrating a Film Classic. There were readings from Graham Greene’s work, and musical accompaniment provided by zither soloist Cornelia Mayer who played pieces from Anton Karas‘ original film score.

Outside was a military jeep from the time and soldiers from the “four powers” checked our IDs at the door with a shot of vodka. Close to the door, I had a glimpse of one of the soldiers hoisting a small boy into the jeep and letting him sit behind the wheel, probably unaware that he was not so much in a strange car with flags, but in a moment of history. (My thanks to Josef Ratheiser for the pic of the jeep.)

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