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The Third Man (1949)

Approved | | Film-Noir, Mystery, Thriller | 31 August 1949 (UK)
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Pulp novelist Holly Martins travels to shadowy, postwar Vienna, only to find himself investigating the mysterious death of an old friend, Harry Lime.

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Top Rated Movies #123 | Won 1 Oscar. Another 4 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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Anna Schmidt (as Valli)
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Karl - Harry's Porter (as Paul Hoerbiger)
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'Baron' Kurtz
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Popescu
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Dr. Winkel
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Anna's Old Landlady
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Storyline

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 led 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

Taglines:

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


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

31 August 1949 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

The 3rd Man  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Opening Weekend:

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

Gross:

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

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

By all accounts Carol Reed was a relatively slow director, completing only a few shots or set-ups per day. Time was all-important during the Vienna shooting, however, because the location filming needed to be completed before the late winter snows set in. See more »

Goofs

Three cats were used for Harry Lime's only loved cat, but all three cats were different sizes and colors. See more »

Quotes

Martins: I was going to stay with him, but he died Thursday.
Crabbin: Goodness, that's awkward.
Martins: Is that what you say to people after death? "Goodness, that's awkward"?
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: V I E N N A See more »

Connections

Referenced in Rachel's Attic (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

The Third Man Theme
(1949) (uncredited)
Written by Anton Karas
Performed by Anton Karas on a zither
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
cinematic art work
17 January 2016 | by See all my reviews

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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