Director: Carol Reed Starring: Joseph Cotten, Alida Valli, Orson Welles Running Time: 104 mins
Subject: When Orson Welles steps out from the shadows wearing a rakishly angled hat and a devilish smile your heart will turn to joy. Unless it’s already stone. The remaining 103 mins are concerned with games of cat and mouse between equally witty cops and bootleggers in dimly lit, post-war Vienna. Joseph Cotten, modelling a well-cut moral dilemma over baser desires, is an American writer caught up in it all.
Sound: The star of the film, even ahead of Orson Welles, is Anton Karas’ genius zither theme. Just listen.
Like: Casablanca with more murk.
Core truth: Nice guys finish.