One of my favorite movies is The Third Man, which was filmed in post-World War II Vienna and stars Joseph Cotten, Orson Welles and Trevor Howard— three of my favorite actors. With a screenplay by Graham Greene and great black and white cinematography, it’s just a great film. But the thing that holds it all together and makes it memorable is the theme song that runs through the whole film, a haunting yet lively tune played on a zither by Anton Karas, who wrote and performed the song. It was so catchy that it topped music charts around the world in 1950.
A number of people have recorded the song over the years but one of my favorites was from a group called the The Crazy Rockers from the early 60’s. They were part of the Indorock scene in Holland at the time which was guitar-driven rock music played by Indonesians who were living in Holland. It’s not a genre that many of us here in the states are familiar with but it was pretty big in that part of the world. Still is from what I understand– the Crazy Rockers and the Tielman Brothers, who are the best known Indorock band, are still performing with over 50 years in the business.
I loved their version of The Third Man Theme with their choreographed movements and gyrations and matching sparkly costumes. It was sort of kitschy but in a very authentic way. I featured it here in a post back in 2008 but unfortunately can no longer locate that version online. So I will show a song from the same time frame, Carioca. I’m also showing the original The Third Man credits with the theme from Anton Karas playing over it just to give those who aren’t familiar with it a chance to hear it. If you get a chance, definitely catch the whole film.