the illegals, and I talk to them. They arernnot a good influence. Many of them sellrndrugs. I’ve been to other American cities,rnand I can tell you this: Los Angeles is notrnan American city anymore.”rnExpressing regret again for his own illegalrnentry, he injected a final thought:rn”We’ve got to stop this illegal immigration.rnIf not, we won’t have a country.”rn]ohn Vinson is the president of thernAmerican Immigration ControlrnFoundation in Monterey, Virginia.rnResurrecting thernThird Manrnby George McCartneyrnThe Third ManrnProduced by Alexander Kordarnand David O. SelznickrnDirected by Carol ReedrnScreenplay by Graham GreenernReleased by London FilmsrnRe-released by Rialto PicturesrnForget the Dark Side. Darth Sidious?rnNo more convincing than Bela Lugosirnflitting about an Abbott and Costellorntravesty. For the real thing, you’ll have tornvisit your local revival house when ThernThird Man shows up. Although filmedrnin black and white without special effects,rnits evocation of evil is infinitelyrnmore unsettling than anvthing IndustrialrnLight and Magic has ever served up.rnThe Third Man turns 50 this year, andrnto celebrate the occasion, Rialto Picturesrnhas restored and re-released director CarolrnReed’s brilliant adaptahon of GrahamrnGreene’s narrative of foreign intrigue. It’srnbeing distributed nationwide throughoutrnthe summer.rnSeeing the film in 35 mm projected onrna full-size screen reveals its intentionsrnv^’ith far greater clarity than video possiblyrncould. To interpret Greene’s vision of arnworld w ithout sure moral footing. Reedrnemployed a few simple strategies that losernmost of their impact on the small screen.rnHe shot many of his scenes on an anglernso that tables, chairs, buildings, and actorsrnalways seem on the verge of tumblingrnfrom the frame. He chose to film the narrative’srndeath dance of innocence andrnduplicity in high-contrast black andrnwhite so that characters are nearly in’isiblernone moment and blindingly luminousrnthe next as they slip in and out ofrnshadows, an effect that would be practicallyrnimpossible to recreate in today’srnTechnicolor world. Then there is the restoredrnsoundtrack. Hearing it, you canrnappreciate why The Third Man themernbecame a number one seller when it wasrnreleased as a record in 1949. AntonrnKaras’s sinuous and insinuating zitherrnperfectly complements the film’s intrigue.rnThe story line is standard-issue Greene,rnwhich is a ver’ high standard indeed. It’srna tale of benighted innocence rescued byrna timely dose of withering disillusionment.rnHolly Martins is the innocent, anrnAmerican lost in an all-too-experiencedrnpost-World War II Europe. He’s playedrnwith intrepid dimness by Joseph Gotten,rnwhose plodding, phlegmatic mannerrnperfectly suits the role. Martins, a writerrnof pulp Western novelettes, comes to Viennarnto see his old chum, Harry Lime, arnboyishly mischievous Orson Welles,rnwhose penchant for scene-stealing is, forrnonce, entirely appropriate. As Lime,rnWelles is meant to be both a practicedrncharmer and an unconscionable betrayer.rnWhen Martins arrives in Vienna, anrnoccupied and thoroughly demoralizedrncit}’ policed by the four Allied powers, herndiscovers that his friend has died in questionablerncircumstances. When he decidesrnto investigate, he’s th\’arted at everyrnturn by Major Calloway, head of thernBritish security forces. Trevor Howardrnplays Calloway as a decent man souredrnby the corruption he’s forced to deal with.rnHe informs Martins that Lime was “thernworst racketeer to make a dirty living inrnthis city.” Lime’s racket was unusuallyrnvile. Stealing penicillin from the Allies’rnmilitar)’ hospitals, he diluted it and thenrnsold it to an unsuspecting Austrian public,rnknowing full well he was renderingrnthe drug harmful and often lethal, especiallyrnwhen used on children.rnMartins doesn’t believe Calloway’srncharge. As a hack writer in the ZanernGrey mode, he’s convinced he can distinguishrnthe good guys from the bad at arnglance, and he’s thoroughly convincedrnLime is a white hatter. He angrily declaresrnhis intention to “get to the bottomrnof this.” Exasperated by such Yankee innocence,rnthe world-weary major retorts,rn”Death’s at the bottom of everything,rnMartins. Leave death to the professionals.”rnCalloway tosses off the remark merelyrnto put a fool in his place, but his wordsrnprescribe the medicine Martins needs torncure his self-infected, self-important innocence.rnIn Greene’s world, moral responsibilityrnbegins with the recognitionrnof our common mortality, an awarenessrnthat has the power to dissolve the presumedrndifferences to which we obstinatelyrncling. It’s difficult to nurture self-aggrandizingrnfantasies by the graveside.rnReed visualizes this theme with twornimages: a cemetery path and a Ferrisrnwheel. He begins and ends the film atrngravesites. This gives him the opportunityrnto shoot a leaf-littered, tree-lined cemeteryrnpath straight down its center, forcingrnus to contemplate the convergence of itsrnparallel lines as they recede to their vanishingrnpoint. It’s the very image of mortality,rnright down to the autumn leavesrnwhich Reed had his crew throw into thernscene from ladders placed just outsiderncamera range. The path announces ourrndestiny. We’re all v’alking along it, eachrnstep irreversibly shaping our identity. Werntake our decisions—good, bad, and indifferentrn—inexorably to the grave.rnAgainst this somber image standsrnLime’s frivolous emblem, the amusementrnpark Ferris wheel on which herntakes Martins for a ride —in more waysrnthan one. Lime, of course, is very muchrnalive, having faked his death by using therncorpse of a former accomplice. He is,rnironically, the “third man” Martins hasrnbeen searching for, the man who helpedrncarry the dead body from the accidentrnsite and who, Martins had thought,rnmight be able to solve what seemed anrnimpenetrable mystery. Indeed, Limerndoes just that, only to produce a morernprofound one: the mystery of evil.rnLike Martins, Lime is childish, but hisrnchildishness doesn’t express itself in naivernheroism. Instead, he operates on onernprinciple only: heedless self-interest.rnThe Ferris wheel expresses him perfectly.rnUnlike the cemetery path, it has no beginningrnor end. For Lime, life is a circularrnseries of amusements, swirling aboutrnhim as he stands, a bemused ringmaster,rnat its center. From this position, he coollyrngauges the value of other people byrnone criterion only: the degree to whichrnthey either help or hinder his comfort.rnAUGUST 1999/49rnrnrn