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The Third Man (1949)

Approved | | Film-Noir, Mystery, Thriller | 31 August 1949 (UK)
1:30 | Trailer

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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.



(by), (screen play)
1,700 ( 1,409)
Top Rated Movies #115 | 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)
'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


He'll have you in a dither with his zither! (from reissue print) See more »


Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





| |

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

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Although David O. Selznick theoretically produced, the rest of the crew hated him and his ideas (he suggested once to Graham Greene that the film be called "Night Time in Vienna"). See more »


In the two separate back projection shots of Calloway, Martins and Paine, supposedly traveling in a jeep at night in Vienna, a double-decker London bus can be seen in background. See more »


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 »


Referenced in Frogs for Snakes (1998) See more »


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

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!

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Great movie, horrible music! oxhan
WHY do you love this film SO MUCH? ali8970
I enjoy repeated viewings of this more than Citizen Kane peterduray-bito
question halomababy
Similarities with He Walked By Night (1948) Peterlh
Was Tana Welles' answer to Anna? zhu_bernard
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