Harry Lime in the 1949 movie is a charming, totally amoral character. In the 1951 radio series, (an episode of which can be heard on the Criterion Collection DVD of the film), which also starred Orson Welles, he is a charming adventurer of dubious reputation who is not as ammoral as people think he is. In the TV show, as played by Michael Rennie, he's a rather conservative businessman whose reputation seems to have been a case of mistaken identity.
I would love to have seen Welles essay the role in the TV show. It would have made all the difference. But of course, he didn't do TV series. One wonders who might have been more interesting than Rennie who was doing TV at that time. The name, (and face) that pops into my mind is Ross Martin but perhaps he was not a big enough star yet. At least Jonathan Harris provides some liveliness as Lime's persnickety assistant, although one can hardly imagine Welles' Lime finding a use for such a character. Also, in a half hour show his intrusions often detract from the story too much.
I will say that I like the way the show was filmed, with some good camera angles, clever editing and, of course, Anton Karras' musical theme, which never seems to stop playing. It's still not a patch on the movie but what TV series is?
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