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Anton Karas

Biography

By some reckoning, Anton Karas was the quintessential one-hit question, a guy associated around the world with one tune, and one tune only, “THE 3RD Man Theme” (also called “The Harry Lime Theme.”) Couple of musicians, nevertheless, ever do even more to insinuate the sound of an individual, relatively obscure drum on the awareness of the globe — Karas as well as the “Third Man Theme” do for the zither what George Harrison and a small number of Beatles tunes do for the sitar, just in a very much bigger way, offering many an incredible number of copies. That little bit of music converted Karas right into a rich guy after 28 many years of toiling in obscurity in comparative poverty in Vienna. Karas was created in Vienna in 1906, the boy of a car worker. He started playing the zither — a stringed device vaguely much like an autoharp — at age group 12. By 1921, at age group 15, he was earning a paycheck of sorts amusing patrons for ideas in Vienna’s taverns. Karas continued to be in the town through the entire tumultuous many years of the rise of Nazi sympathies as well as the German takeover, the battle, as well as the Allied job that implemented. He backed a wife and three kids on less than $15 weekly in those times, and, in Sept of 1948 (some resources say the springtime of 1949), destiny took a hands. British movie director Carol Reed is at Vienna capturing a thriller known as THE 3RD Man, predicated on a tale by Graham Greene. A lot of the details of the ultimate film have been worked out, however, not the music — Reed experienced decided that presently there would not become any Johann Strauss waltzes, however, not what will be useful for the rating. One night time, he was moving by way of a Heuriger, a wines tavern where growers give their very own wines on the market directly, and noticed Karas’ playing in the backdrop. Reed got never noticed a zither before and discovered the audio to become attractive. He contacted Karas and persuaded him to try out for him at his resort, where he produced a documenting and cut back to the studio room to check. He liked the result once the zither’s sound was positioned against the documented dialogue and, overlooking the protests of several around him, employed Karas and brought him to London for 12 weeks. It wasn’t often a harmonious amount of time in London, as Karas, who got never traveled beyond Austria before, quickly grew homesick. Reed (in whose house Karas remained — with Reed’s wife Penelope translating German and British between them) guaranteed to allow him return house after the rating was finished. Karas screened the film hundreds of moments, devising music for every scene. THE 3RD Man were left with a vast quantity of music, have scored in just about any picture of its 104 mins. Ironically, the piece that became referred to as the “Third Guy Theme” was a thing that Karas wrote two decades previously and hadn’t performed in over 15 years. As he later on told Reed, playing the zither for a complete night for suggestions was effort, and something tended to try out the easiest items the most frequently, to save lots of the fingertips. The film put Karas’ rating in to the foreground just as much as the stars. The starting credits demonstrated the strings of the zither in close-up, as well as the device was noticed somewhere in just about any scene, frequently as prominently because the dialogue. The “Third Man Theme” (also called the “Harry Lime Theme”) was alternately brittle, jaunty, bittersweet, passionate, wry, and also sardonic little bit of music — which in shape the mood from the story as well as the film properly — that, once noticed, couldn’t be neglected. THE 3RD Man was completed and ready for discharge, and Reed as well as the creation company, London Movies, tried to improve fascination with it with the music. None from the record businesses, however, was thinking about documenting Karas or launching the “Third Guy Theme.” The music was as well strange and various, and although United kingdom movies got created some soundtrack successes before, those were generally more regular light classical parts, such as for example Richard Addinsell’s Rachmaninov-like “Warsaw Concerto,” not really a jangly little bit of music performed on the central Western folk device. Finally, the film opened in past due 1949 in Britain, and within times requests began to be noticed at record shops. Term quickly filtered backup the line towards the record businesses, and England’s Decca label (London Information within the U.S.) slice the single, and an associated LP, the coat of which utilized the dark silhouette from the incomprehensible Harry Lime (the Orson Welles personality from the theme) against a crimson background. The one marketed a half-million copies in its initial month of discharge, an astonishing amount in postwar Britain, and became lots one strike in Britain and later in the us, where the film didn’t open up until 1950. A minimum of 13 cover variations appeared, documented on from guitars to body organ, and sheet music product sales, transcribed for either piano or acoustic guitar, were huge aswell. Karas, who’d came back to Vienna soon after viewing the film at its starting in London, didn’t find out about these occasions for a number of weeks — he was back again at his aged place, playing for suggestions. Then the communications began to arrive, from your film’s creation company, music web publishers, and lastly the Royal Family members, with asked him back again to London for any command overall performance. Bookings for shows in England adopted and, by using the Selznick Business, which distributed the film in america, he found America. Karas documented a many follow-ups to “THE 3RD Guy Theme,” and also composed a “Karol Theme” in tribute to Carol Reed, but non-e took off just as. He could retire from executing for a full time income, nevertheless — by the first ’50s, he’d bought his very own Heuriger, called “The Winehouse at the hallmark of the 3rd Man” in support of performed and documented for pleasure from then on. In his shows, audiences were frequently puzzled by the actual fact that he kept “THE 3RD Guy Theme” for last, preferring to try out Viennese folk music and popular criteria (also “Within the Mood”), and proceeded on some events to finish using the strike, playing thirty minutes of variants on “THE 3RD Guy Theme.” Various other zither players hardly ever first got it to audio just right. The reality was that as documented for the film, “THE 3RD Man Theme” was among the 1st practical types of overdubbing on popular record, rivaling Les Paul’s function — Karas experienced gotten the ideal effect operating underneath Reed’s dining room table, and experienced obtained the piece perfectly by documenting and mixing several zither component. Karas later on re-recorded the theme many times, and it had been also included in instrumental acts like the Shadows. In the mean time, he’d began a zither trend — not merely do he reach cut many albums through the early ’50s, but all of a sudden there was severe worldwide demand for zither music. One musician, Ruth Welcome, documented a minimum of a half-dozen LPs from the device in america. And also Edward D. Hardwood, Jr., the renowned discount cellar auteur, was motivated by Karas’ theme. He wished to work with a zither because the source of vocals for his 1954 crime-drama Prison Bait, but zither virtuosi had been tricky to find in Hollywood, specifically in Wood’s nonexistent price-range, therefore he monitored in classical electric guitar music towards the completed film rather. The “Third Man Theme” was afterwards applied to a radio series spun from the movie’s achievement, with Orson Welles reprising his part of Harry Lime inside a relatively more harmless guise, along with a tv series called THE 3RD Man, starring Michael Rennie as a global adventurer called Harry Lime and Jonathan Harris (Lost In Space) as his anxious associate, and re-using Karas’ theme once again, the show went for two periods in the past due ’50s, and is at reruns for a long time within the ’60s. The theme continuing to turn through to albums, included in instrumental rock works, well in to the ’80s, as the reruns from the film keep increasing the rates of listeners acquainted with the zither — a 1999 countrywide theatrical reissue of the restored edition from the film will certainly continue the procedure.

Quick Facts


Full Name Anton Karas
Died January 10, 1985, Vienna, Austria
Profession Film Score Composer
Education University of Music and Performing Arts, Vienna
Nationality Austrian
Awards Grammy Hall of Fame
Music Songs Harry Lime Theme, That Dear Old Song, The Cafe Mozart Waltz, Farewell to Vienna, Theme from the Third Man, Lili Marleen, Anton Karas Second Theme, Danube dreams, Anna Walks Away-Alone / End, Where Do I Go From You?, Ländler, Zitherditta, Wien, Weib, Wein, Liebchen, Samt und Seide, Zither Man, Zither Rhythm of Anton Karas, Vienna, City of My Dreams, Rosamunde, The Third Man Theme, Skater's Waltz; Estudiantina, Cuckoo Waltz, Holly Encounters Anna, Trap To Catch Harry, Viennese Potpourri No. 1, In Grinzing, The Big Ben Tune, Harry Lime's False Burial, Holly Is Accused Of Homicide, Meeting Of Conspirators At The Bridge / Holly And Anna Talk About Harry, Martins Is Harassed By The Mob, Calloway Persuades Martins About Harry's Crimes
Albums Der dritte Mann - The Third Man, Zither Music, Vienna, City of Dreams, Karas Melodies, Wiener Klänge, Le troisième homme / The Third Man (Orson Welles et la Musique) [Carol Reed's Original Motion Picture Soundtrack], Zitherama, Anton Karas - Rarities 1965, Harry Lime Theme, A Grinzing chez Anton Karas (Mono Version) [feat. Heinz Conrads, Ernst Arnold, Elfie Friedrich, Franz Bachert, Die zwei Rudis, Die Grinzinger Schrammeln], The Third Man & Other Favourites, The Third Man (Motion Picture Soundtrack), Themes, Third Man Theme And Other Viennese Favorites (Digitally Remastered), Les idoles de la musique instrumentale : Anton Karas, Vol. 1, Het Beste Van: Anton Karas, Anton Karas Mit Seiner Zither, The Third Man, Anton Karas: The Very Best, Anton Karas: Studio 102 Essentials, 20 Tracks of Anton Karas (Mono Version), Film Music: The Third Man and Other Classic Film Themes (1949-1958), 50 Jahre Kinopremiere [Der dritte Mann], Der Dritte Mann, The Third Man: Anton Karas at the Zither, Récital de cithare (Mono version), Third Man Original Soundtrack, Ritmo De Citara, Anton Karas plays "The Third Man Theme", Third Man Theme - Music of Anton Karas, Souvenirs de Vienne, suite d'orchestre (Mono version), The First Man of the Zither, Folk Songs Of Austria (Digitally Remastered), Best of Anton Karas, Harry Lime Theme and Other Anton Karas Favourites, Top 100 Classics - The Very Best of Anton Karas, Strauss, J.II: The World of Johann Strauss, Musiques de cinema pour petites oreilles, Best of Anton Karas : Le troisième homme (The Third Man)
Movies The Third Man


  • Facts
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#Fact
1 Could not write or read music.
2 Is from a Czech-Hungarian family.


Soundtrack

Soundtrack

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Der Schuh des Manitu 2001 writer: "Harry Lime Theme"
Österreich - Unser Jahrhundert TV Series documentary performer - 1 episode, 1999 writer - 1 episode, 1999
Leaving Las Vegas 1995 writer: "The Third Man Theme"
Beyond the Groove 1990 TV Series writer: "Third Man Theme"
First Among Equals 1986 TV Mini-Series performer - 1 episode
The Day the Universe Changed TV Series documentary performer - 1 episode, 1985 writer - 1 episode, 1985
Four Friends 1981 music: "The Third Man Theme"
Kottan ermittelt TV Series performer - 1 episode, 1979 writer - 1 episode, 1979
Breaking Point 1975 performer: "Head Theme"
The Likes of Louise 1974 writer: "The Third Man Theme" - uncredited
Welt am Draht 1973 TV Movie music: "Café Mozart Waltz"
Nostra signora dei turchi 1968 writer: "Theme for 'The Third Man'"
The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis 1962 TV Series writer - 1 episode
Im weißen Rößl 1960 performer: "Im weißen Rößl am Wolfgangsee" - uncredited
Make Mine Mink 1960 writer: "The Third Man Theme" - uncredited
Ja, ja die Liebe in Tirol 1955 performer: "Solang noch die Musi spielt" - uncredited
Around the World with Orson Welles 1955 TV Mini-Series documentary writer: "The Third Man Theme" - uncredited
The Third Man 1949 performer: "The Third Man Theme" 1949 - uncredited / writer: "The Third Man Theme" 1949 - uncredited
This will End in Murder 2017 writer: "Café Mozart Waltz" post-production
Er ist wieder da 2015 writer: "The Harry Lime Theme"
Eiszauber 2014: Die Magie des Eises 2014 TV Movie writer: "Harry Lime Theme" - uncredited
Hollywood in Vienna 2012 2012 TV Special music: "The Harry Lime Theme"
Big River Man 2009 Documentary writer: "Cafte Mozart Waltz" - as Anton Kara
Een spannend avontuur van Clown Bassie: De speurtocht naar Charly 2008 TV Series writer - 1 episode
Weltberühmt in Österreich - 50 Jahre Austropop TV Series documentary performer - 1 episode, 2006 writer - 1 episode, 2006
Brick 2005 performer: "I'm In The Middle Of A Riddle"
Montreal Writer 2002 Documentary short "Harry Lime Theme"
xXx 2002 writer: "The Third Man Theme"

Music Department

Music Department

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Im weißen Rößl 1960 musician: zither
The Third Man 1959 TV Series composer - 1 episode
Die Sennerin von St. Kathrein 1955 musician: zither
Schützenliesel 1954 musician: zither
The Third Man 1949 music played by: Zither music

Actor

Actor

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Liebe, Sommer und Musik 1956 Zitherspieler
Die Sennerin von St. Kathrein 1955 Lehrer
Die Perle von Tokay 1954 Zither

Composer

Composer

TitleYearStatusCharacter
The Third Man 1959 TV Series 1 episode
The Third Man 1949 uncredited

Self

Self

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Lieder gehen um die Welt 1982 TV Movie Himself
III nach neun 1976 TV Series Himself
V.I.P.-Schaukel 1972 TV Series documentary Himself
Verliebt in Österreich 1967 Documentary Himself - Musician
Gut gefragt ist halb gewonnen 1966 TV Series Himself
Im weißen Rößl 1960 Himself
Words and Music 1958 TV Series Himself
Alan Melville Takes You from A-Z 1957 TV Series Himself
Ja, ja die Liebe in Tirol 1955 Himself
Come Dance with Me 1950 Himself

Archive Footage

Archive Footage

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Meine Brigittenau 2016 TV Movie documentary Himself
Weltberühmt in Österreich - 50 Jahre Austropop 2006 TV Series documentary Himself
Shadowing the Third Man 2004 TV Movie documentary Himself

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