Sunday, October 26, 2008

The Third Man

The Third Man
The Third Man
Originally uploaded by Southcoasting

Wien Prater
is home to the Reisenrad (Giant Wheel).

Constructed in 1897, of Iron to a height of 64.75m. It was bombed during the second world war but the authorities didn't have enough cash to pay for the demolition, so the wheel remained. It was rebuilt after the war but only half the carriages were salvaged.

I had to visit the Prater because the Third Man, set in post-war crumbling Vienna, is one of my favourite films, and the Cuckoo Clock scene (set in the fairground) one of my all-time favourite scenes. The wheel hasn't changed much since 1947 although the city has.

Prater park

"Look down there. Tell me. Would you really feel any pity if one of those dots stopped moving forever? If I offered you twenty thousand pounds for every dot that stopped, would you really, old man, tell me to keep my money, or would you calculate how many dots you could afford to spare?" (Harry Lime, as played by Orson Welles in The Third Man)

Up high in the wheel

"You know what the fellow said—in Italy, for thirty years under the Borgias, they had warfare, terror, murder and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and the Renaissance. In Switzerland, they had brotherly love, they had five hundred years of democracy and peace—and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock." (Harry Lime... the famous speech ad-libbed by Orson Welles to fill a gap in the script)

website of the Vienna Prater funfair


Anonymous said...

You gotta ride the Wonder Wheel in Coney Island sometime.

(Oh -- it's Will. I can't remember my Blogger password.)

wastedpapiers said...

Great! Lucky you. One of my favourite english films too. A classic!