Same old war profiteering, new music

The cynicism spouted by war profiteer Harry Lime (Orson Welles) in this famous scene from Sir Carol Reed’s The Third Man feels oddly current seven decades later. Set in Vienna’s Prater amusement park, the scene is shot in a giant ferris wheel. It’s called the Riesenrad, and was built by the father of Hollywood score composer Max Steiner of Gone With the Wind, Casablanca, and Now, Voyager fame. But Reed’s film was scored not by Steiner for an orchestra but by Anton Karas for a zither. Amid postwar ruins, it somehow fit. What music will be appropriate for post-Trump ruins? But shame on me for being so morbid with Easter just around the corner.


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