During the shooting for "The Third man" director of the film Carol Reed, was searching for a film music. The music should not only match with Harry Lime, but also give an impression of the feeling in the city devastated from the war. Around the story of creating the film music are many legends. Even the first meeting between Anton Karas and Carol Reed was communicated in different ways. Fact is, that from the meeting of those different men - the Viennese Heurigen musician, born and living in the lower class and the celebrated star director from London - a music piece was created, which became a sensation in the history of music.
Slightly before the end of the shooting Carol Reed invited Anton Karas to the Hotel Astoria in Vienna and Karas was asked to play for the film crew hours and hours. Back to London Reed experimented with different pieces for a film music but nothing was satisfying and therefore he invited Anton Karas to London. Karas started composing the complete film music on June 1st, 1949, the recording was finished within 12 weeks. Karas composed and improved about 14 hours per day. Unfortunately he felt extremely homesick and was more than one time to go back to Vienna without finishing his work. But Reed didn't "surrender" and assisted him and kept him in London like a prisoner. When he finished recording the film music, a fire in the cutting room destroyed more than the half of the completed film material including the sound column. Anton Karas had to record the complete sound column once again. When the film was completed just one week before the scheduled premiere, Carol Reed and Anton Karas went to the Westminster Abbey to light thankful a candle!
Contrary to the common knowledge Karas composed not only the "Harry Lime". He composed some other pieces of the film music or made arrangements of already existing music and adapted it very sensitive..
The film was an absolute "blockbuster". The Zither, until this time not really well known in England, was now very popular. The success of the film was a sensation and for Anton Karas the start of his world carrier.
|With Carol Reed, London, 1945|
|Composing of the film music|
Harry Lime Theme