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The Third Man (1949)

Not Rated  |   |  Film-Noir, Mystery, Thriller  |  31 August 1949 (UK)
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Ratings: 8.3/10 from 105,802 users  
Reviews: 398 user | 210 critic

Pulp novelist Holly Martins travels to shadowy, postwar Vienna, only to find himself investigating the mysterious death of an old friend, Harry Lime.



(by), (screen play), 3 more credits »
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Top Rated Movies #111 | Won 1 Oscar. Another 4 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »



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Complete credited cast:
Anna Schmidt (as Valli)
Karl - Harry's Porter (as Paul Hoerbiger)
Ernst Deutsch ...
'Baron' Kurtz
Erich Ponto ...
Dr. Winkel
Hedwig Bleibtreu ...
Anna's Old Landlady


An out of work pulp fiction novelist, Holly Martins, arrives in a post war Vienna divided into sectors by the victorious allies, and where a shortage of supplies has lead to a flourishing black market. He arrives at the invitation of an ex-school friend, Harry Lime, who has offered him a job, only to discover that Lime has recently died in a peculiar traffic accident. From talking to Lime's friends and associates Martins soon notices that some of the stories are inconsistent, and determines to discover what really happened to Harry Lime. Written by Mark Thompson <mrt@oasis.icl.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


HUNTED...By a thousand men! Haunted...By a lovely girl! See more »


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





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Release Date:

31 August 1949 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

The 3rd Man  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$13,576 (USA) (7 May 1999)


$449,191 (USA) (20 November 2015)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Orson Welles worked one week on this film. See more »


As Martins arrives at the funeral, he asks Maj. Calloway who the funeral is for. A black tombstone is seen behind Martins. When he walks towards the grave and stands by Anna, the same tombstone is seen behind her. This occurred because both of those scenes were not filmed on location in Vienna, but later at Shepperton Studios, which only had very few fake tombstones available. See more »


Martins: Have you ever seen any of your victims?
Harry Lime: You know, I never feel comfortable on these sort of things. Victims? Don't be melodramatic. 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? Free of income tax, old man. Free of income tax - the only way you can save ...
See more »


Referenced in The Living Daylights (1987) See more »


Das Alte Lied
(1931) (uncredited)
Music by Henry Love
Lyrics by Fritz Löhner-Beda
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

the best of all time
27 October 1998 | by (california) – See all my reviews

Unrelenting fascination is what I have every time I watch this movie. It never seems old. It's in my mind, haunting me, with its unearthly music and its dark, oblique photography. And that great Orson Welles' speech, and also the best entrance in movie history to go along with the best exit in movie history. It couldn't be better. I can't even express how I feel in words. Watch it again and again, and you'll be dazed!

63 of 122 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Great movie, horrible music! oxhan
Favorite scene of the Third Man richsass
point is Harry Lime's charisma makes people overlook he is an sob debtfull
WHY do you love this film SO MUCH? ali8970
Several things I don't understand or can't be convinced mablecheng1981
I enjoy repeated viewings of this more than Citizen Kane peterduray-bito
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