29 April 2006

Alida Valli

Last week Alida Valli, the renowned European actress, died. Her full name, according to her obituary in the London Times, was
Baroness Alida Maria Laura Altenburger von Marckenstein Freunberg. Her career in films extended over almost 70 years: for details see her IMDb entry.

While her life had many vicissitudes if for nothing else she deserves to be remembered for her role as Anna Schmidt in The Third Man, and particularly for the final scene, as the Times obituarist so aptly describes it:

in one of cinema’s most memorable dénouements, Harry Lime’s girlfriend, Anna Schmidt, played by Alida Valli, walks away from his grave and the soft-hearted consolation offered by Holly Martins, choosing the memory of Lime’s cynical charm instead.

The movie is widely available on DVD. I recommend it highly.

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