Anton Karas: The Third Man

Released: 1949
Director: Carol Reed
Cast: Orson Welles, Joseph Cotten, Trevor Howard

The film: The perfect blending of script, direction, acting and Anton Karas’s music goes some way to demonstrating why this remarkable film is still regarded as one of the greatest thrillers ever made.

The score: Karas was an unknown zither player performing in a Vienna wine-garden. Director Reed later moved Karas to London, where the musician spent six weeks working on the score. The Harry Lime Theme became a best-seller; by November 1949, 300,000 records had been sold in Britain. The trailer for the film stated that "the famous musical score by Anton Karas" would have the audience "in a dither with his zither".

Classic FM Apps

Get the Classic FM app for iPhone, iPad and Android - now with HD audio

mozart oboe concerto on helium

An *oboist* inhaled helium and played a virtuosic Mozart concerto

bolero trombone fail

This trombone fail will make you laugh and then immediately feel awful for laughing

donald trump orchestra

A detailed music theory analysis of Donald Trump’s ‘Make America Great Again’ song