I will be looking at the film ‘The Third Man’ directed by Carol Reed and the key sequence that I will be looking at is the penultimate scene which is where Harry is chassed in the sewers.
This is a significant scene as the use of sound and image help to express the key moments in this scene and allows the audience to be put into Harry’s shoes. At the beginning of this scene we only have the sound of footsteps and shouting coming from the police in all the different areas of Vienna. This is significant because of the echo used we as the audience are unsure where about the police are as the voices are magnified and seem to be coming from all angels. This helps the audience understand what Harry is hearing. The use of all the different languages shows that all the police have come to find Harry, this makes it seem scarier as we are aware that there are a lot of police chasing Harry and because we don’t know what they are saying, we can’t tell what is going to happen.
The scene continues with Harry running away from the footsteps but we can tell that he is unsure where they are coming from because we nearly walk straight to them. The lighting is good in this scene as there is very little so Harry can hide in the shadows, this emphasises on the suspense of this scene as we wonder how long it takes for him to be found. The use of shadow has been used throughout the film, this added a scene of mystery to Harry’s character as he only discovered when the darkness is taken away and he can’t hide in the shadows.
As the scene progresses we get to the part where Harry is shot, we see him struggle up stairs as he crawls them, this has significance as it shows his weakness which is a contrast to his stronger character seen earlier. Once Harry gets to the top of the stairs we see him put his fingers through the drains bars. The scene then cuts from Harry’s struggling to his fingers on the outside. We can see a dark and empty street which shows the secretiveness of Harry as it’s’ at night which adds to the mystery show many times in the film and its deserted. After a short moment Harry’s fingers disappear and we see him collapse on the stairs again. This not only shows his weakness but also suggests that Harry has been trapped by bars which give the image and ideology of prison.
We then see Holly appear. At that moment when the two characters look at each the music that we as an audience associate as Harry’s theme begins to play. This is significant as it tells the audience that it’s Harry’s exit at had been previously used as Harry’s entrance. We have the scene where Harry and Holly are just standing looking at each other, we can make this connection to the western genre which had been mentioned in connection to Holly’s novels so we are familiar with that concept but it also shows Harry and Holly’s feelings towards each other. We already know that Harry and Holly met in school and have known each other for ages but in this scene we know what the characters are saying to each other without them saying a word. It is significant as it shows Harry almost pleading to Holly which is a contrast of Harry being seen as the stronger character and now it seems that Holly has control.
We also see Holly take pity on Harry as he could leave him to suffer in Jail, but in the end he shots him. The shooting was significant because we don’t actually Harry being shot, we hear the gun fire echo down the tunnels but the editing cuts to Calloway. This is significant as we are aware that he has done it but at the same time we see Calloway stop what he’s doing and look shocked. This shows that everyone knows what has happened as they no longer feel the need to continue running to catch Harry. We see Holly walk slowly out of the mist at the end of the tunnel and slowly get closer, but the scene fades out before he gets close enough for us to see his face. This is significant as we are aware of how he if feeling but we can’t tell this from the emotion on his face, this leaves it to the audience imagination. The scene then fades into a graveyard. This shows a passing in time and because it set in a graveyard we are aware that this is Harry’s really funeral and that this is a passing of time which we can tell immediately from the fading out of the previous scene.
Overall in this scene the use of sound and image created by the use of lighting and environment added to the atmosphere of the film and made this scene significant from any other scene in the film which showed the importance of the scene in comparison to any previous ones. We can gain values from this scene as it shows the fear that Harry is going through from the audience being put in his shoes. The use of sound being magnified and echoed so that it sounded as though the police were closer than they were and that they were coming from all over added fear to the audience as they two are unaware of where they really are.
And from being put in Harry’s shoes and the fact that Harry is suffering towards the end of the scene we can gain values of not to commit crimes similar to Harry’s as the audience has become aware of what Harry did. There is also the fact that he went from being a strong, dominate and forceful character to almost begging towards Holly. The darkness also creates a sense of fear as we as an audience have some area blackened out which makes the audience fear what is there and with the footsteps and yelling, we don’t know where they will come from so there’s the fear of them appearing out of the blackness.