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The Third Man: a publicist unleashed

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This isn't really about the bar, which is a pleasant enough spot, with a drink menu devised by a very earnest, ice-chiselling cocktailian.


It's about just how insane publicists can be.


I made brief reference, in this piece, to the poor fit between the PR description of the Third Man, and the bar itself.



the design of the bar is said to be partly inspired by the Carol Reed movie of the same name. Those of us who remember the movie might find this a little fanciful.


There was a bar--or cafe--in The Third Man, of course. It was a real-life location. This bar is nothing like it; nor does the bare-brick and foliage interior evoke anything from the movie at all.


Here's more twaddle from the Facebook page:


Early 20th Century Vienna themed bar - Art Noveau muddled drinks with light flair; the venue's name recalls the 1949 film noir set in Vienna and directed by Carol Reed and starring Orson Welles.


Well...which? Because the movie was not only made in 1949, it was set post-war, and there is nothing "early 20th century" or art nouveau about it.


There's nothing art nouveau about the bar, either (see below).


But this is what really takes the cookie. In its latest issue, Vanity Fair discusses the legendary American Bar in Vienna, a beautiful little space created by Adolph Loos. And, presumably writing before the Third Man opened, buys wholly into the PR: "A century-old oasis of design cool amid Vienna’s ornate aesthetic, the American Bar has inspired a New York City twin."

A twin? Is the world going insane? Can we just say anything to get attention?





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That's funny. When I saw the top photo, before reading the text of Wilfrid's post, I thought it was a photo of the interior of The Third Man, and I was going to post, "What's the problem? That looks just like Adolph Loos's American Bar in Vienna!"


ETA -- Hard to see anything Jungstil about the bottom photo. Or reminiscent of any of the places in the movie.

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Right? I was reading the VF piece quite happily until I realized it was going to claim the Third Man was inspired by the American Bar. Whoever the publicist is, he/she has been very busy churning out the twaddle. The VF writer can't even have seen the Third Man, I assume. It opened roughly at Christmas.

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I am sure it won't matter to most people, but instead of sitting there thinking "How amusing is this single malt float on top of this elaborately tweaked whatsit," I am sitting there thinking "How absolutely unlike the Carol Reed movie or anything else Viennese this place is."

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I am used to nonsense from publicists, but this is a bit extreme. BTW--and this doesn't help--the article is actually in the November Vanity Fair, which for some reason arrived very late. So it was written way before The Third Man opened.

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I had thought I had linked to pictures of my visit some years ago to the Adolph Loos designed Museum Cafe in Vienna. Unlike the cosy, wood panels, copper ceilings, etc in the fist post, this was whitewashed, with multiple interior arches and valults. Low, dark wood paneling up to the wainscot level. Reminded me of a Prague cellar.


(I mentioned it, but didn't link to pictures)



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  • 3 weeks later...

Plenty of dingbattery to go around:

The Third Man is a classic Cold War spy film.

Well, true, it is a film.



And if we came by ordered one of your signature cocktails, like the "Harry Lime," we'd get...?
Mezcal, chartreuse, maraschino, fresh lime juice, sparkling wine chaser. It's our riff on The Last Word, with a central character's name playing off the color of the drink.


Because that is honestly the only possible connection.


The Some Like it Hot comes with a twist, because that plays on Jack Lemmon's name, but with one fewer letter.


I made that up.



At The Third Man, we're serving what we call the Triest, a mix of Fernet, myrtle berry liquer and a house-made five spice mulled cider.


Leaving us to wonder whether it is the Third Man or the Village Voice which can't spell Trieste.

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