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 <email@example.com>
The line about the cuckoo clock being Switzerland's only contribution to culture is factually incorrect: the cuckoo clock comes from the Black Forest, across the border in southwestern Germany. See more »
Pulp western writer Holly Martins (Joseph Cotten) arrives in post-war Vienna to work for old friend Harry Lime (Orson Welles) but is told that Harry is dead. The city is divided under the control of the Allies. British Major Calloway (Trevor Howard) tells him that Harry was a criminal. He decides to investigate Harry's death. Anna Schmidt (Alida Valli) is Harry's girlfriend. Harry's friends Baron Kurtz and Popescu describe the accident but Holly is told by another that there was a third man.
The best part of this movie is director Carol Reed. His camera work is amazing. The best scene for me is the balloon man. When he walks around the corner, it is the funniest and most shocking moment in the movie. Orson Welles is so tied into this movie but I don't find him threatening enough. He's more of a trickster. I would like Harry Lime to be scarier. Also Anna is an infuriating character. Overall, the story is fine. Joseph Cotten is great. The movie is a cinematic art work.
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