Friday, January 27, 2012

#13: Expatriate Noir: The Third Man (1949) and Night and the City (1950)

"‘Your national mind,’ said he, ‘has no eyelids. It requires a broad glare and a beaten road. It prefers shadows which you can cut out with a knife.’"
- a British diplomat's view of the United States in Henry Adams’ Democracy: An American Novel

Opportunity amidst the ruins of postwar London and Vienna. Old World ideals and cowboy novel idealism are either defeated or tossed as a joke. All focus on the profiteering American. Both films lurk in cynicism, shadow, and extreme angles; up through a final chase.

Picture via.


Tony D'Ambra said...

A dark and elliptic parry making an interesting connection. Greene's The Quiet American could complete a tryptic, but Dassin's protagonist is a loser, and Joseph Cotton's Holley Martins is more outsider than rapacious insider?

Diandra said...

hmm...You're right about the characters. I wasn't able to get into a more extensive post with this one, but the differences and similarities between the American protagonists are worth thinking about.