The Third Man ★★★★★

Gave this a repeat watch because I'd be talking about it earlier in the evening with friends and realized my memory had just pared it down to the Ferris wheel scene and the last shot. But there is oh so much more. I had forgotten how absolutely owned Joseph Cotten gets throughout the film. But Greene was very observant of these blundering, well meaning, but out of their depth Americans through a lot of his films, waltzing into a post-war scene that they'd helped end, but with absolutely no idea how anybody got there, a pure ideological agent getting literally punched by history. And then there's Orson Welles' Harry Lime, the capitalist shadow self, who does what he can to survive, living in the sewers it seems.

The movie is some real shit while also being a dream and nightmare, Cotten (and us) believing he is some sort of genre (mystery! romance!) but really just about betraying a friend, trying to what is right in a world that isn't, and not getting the girl in the end because he'd been reading everything wrong from the get go.

A brutal and highly enjoyable (and fast!) classic