The Third Man music

I was watching the documentary on the making of The Third Man, and there is an interesting piece of music they keep playing - I have heard it in a number of movies involving eastern europe - a sort of plinky balalaika or plucked not strummed mandolin piece.

Youtube is flogging a Tony Bennet song, instead of whatever the piece is called … anybody have any idea what it is?

I was played on a zither.

The Third Man Music

It was played by Anton Karas

It was played on a zither by Anton Karas.

The zither theme was released as a single, and it spent 11 weeks as Billboard’s #1 single.

(OK, that was lame, but I had to say something about it: The Third Man is my title in other places on the net.)

I don’t understand. Clicking the link in the OP gets an opening credits to the movie. What Tony Bennett tune did you get?

The Beatles had been known to play The Third Man Theme for laughs in their Cavern days.

The OP is talking about the ad just under the description. To be fair, it can be a bit confusing that you have to click the double caret (^^) button to expand the description box. Although, Mr. Karas is mentioned in the opening credits of the movie itself.

Thanks for clearing that up. I guess I just didn’t look carefully enough. The music to Zorba the Greek reminds me of Third Man Theme in a way, as well as Never On Sunday. And there’s another instrumental from that era that I tend to confuse with it, but I can’t even hum the tune at the moment.

I never could understand the fascination with the movie.

Wild guess: “Alley Cat”?

Nice try. Opens a can of worms. But the one I’m trying to bring back is more Middle Eastern in flavor, to me anyway. I’m thinking early 50’s and a name orchestra backing a string instrument like a guitar or a balalaika or whatever.

I did find “Vanessa” while I was flipping through names on YouTube. Very Leroy Anderson sounding but not even in the ballpark with this mystery tune.

Thanks for the stab, tough.

Which movie? You mentioned three: The Third M**an, Never On Sunday, and Zorba The Greek.

The Third Man. I guess I never got caught up in the worship of Orson Welles. I thought he was cool in The Long Hot Summer as Will Varner, but the other earlier things just left me meh.

they now pop a link in itunes which is generally for the music in the video, the one on this vid was for some tony bennet song that when listened to was not the same music i wanted.

He was a one hit wonder. I had the opportunity to listen to several Mercury Theater productions, and they were pretty standard radio ‘plays’ but what made War of the Worlds outstanding was it being presented like a series of flash news interruptions in a regular radio evening, getting people to believe it was really happening. Then he went to Hollywood, and made Citizen Kane - which I personally don’t like, but it was also filmed in an unusual way, and brought him more attention. His subsequent movies were meh. He spent the rest of his career trying to find another movie script he could do something odd with and pretty much fizzled. I never much liked his acting.

The Third Man was directed by Carol Reed, written by Graham Greene and starred Joseph Cotten. It’s reputation is only tangentially related to “worship of Orson Welles.”

Probably “Midnight in Moscow” by the Village Stompers. I can’t find their version of it online, but here is another version, and here is the Village Stompers doing “Washington Square.”, their biggest hit.

Are you 100% sure it’s an instrumental? Those songs always remind me of this one.

You’re right that it’s similar in tone and mood, but the one I’m trying to identify is not quite as Russian sounding, I don’t think.

Another favorite song from the Russian sounding group, but not the one I’m trying to remember.

Thanks to both of you for the tries. I’m going to go find some lists of instumentals from the early 50’s and hope there’s a YouTube version of it. I won’t leave you hanging if I can help it.

The Third Man, one of my favorite movies. Anytime I recommend it to someone I always tell tell them something along the lines of “After you watch it, and you have a question about it, the answer is ‘zither’” I suppose it’s the fact that you hear the music throughout the entire movie that makes people wonder what it is.