Friday, May 15, 2009

It happened in Austria

TCM showed The Third Man as part of a birthday salute to Joseph Cotten (1905-1994) today. The movie looks at the darker side of Vienna in the years after World War II, when it was occupied by the four Allied powers, and there was a thriving black market. The Third Man is one of cinema's more famous location shootings, and the movie has rightly become famous for this.

Its popularity is enduring, to the point that there is a museum dedicated to the movie, as well as a walking tour of the Vienna locatoins in the movie. One location that's easily accessible to the public, and the setting of one of the most famous scenes in the movie, is the Riesenrad, the giant Ferris wheel on which Cotten's Holly Martins met Orson Welles' Harry Lime. The same wheel was also used as a setting in the 1987 James Bond movie The Living Daylights.

The other popular Austrian-set English-language movie, The Sound of Music, isn't so popular in Austria. Authorities have wanted to open a museum in Salzburg dedicated to the movie, as that's where much of the movie is set, but locals don't want it. The museum doesn't seem to have been built yet, as there's no hit for an official site on Google, and the Salzburg tourist agency doesn't list any official museum.

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