The score of The Third Man with Anton Karas‘ zither piece is to this day one of the best descriptions of post-war Vienna. His ‚cheeky‘ up-tempo composition elegantly sums up the »savoir vivre« (or rather the »savoir survivre«) of a town that has been injured and divided by World War Two.
British director Carol Reed discovered the zither player Anton Karas in a typical Viennese wine tavern during location scouting. He then took Karas to London and asked him to compose the film‘s score. Karas, who never really was a composer per se, spent 14 weeks in the English capital while trying to come up with a musical theme for the movie. The result is an authentic and playful score which went on to become famous and successful far beyond the limits of the film itself.