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The Third Man (1949) Poster

(1949)

Quotes

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Harry Lime: Don't be so gloomy. After all, it's not that awful. Like the fella says, in Italy for 30 years under the Borgias they had warfare, terror, murder, and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and the Renaissance. In Switzerland they had brotherly love - they had 500 years of democracy and peace, and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock. So long, Holly.

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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 money nowadays.

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Harry Lime: Nobody thinks in terms of human beings. Governments don't. Why should we? They talk about the people and the proletariat, I talk about the suckers and the mugs - it's the same thing. They have their five-year plans, so have I.

Martins: You used to believe in God.

Harry Lime: Oh, I still do believe in God, old man. I believe in God and Mercy and all that. But the dead are happier dead. They don't miss much here, poor devils.

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Calloway: Go home Martins, like a sensible chap. You don't know what you're mixing in, get the next plane.

Martins: As soon as I get to the bottom of this, I'll get the next plane.

Calloway: Death's at the bottom of everything, Martins. Leave death to the professionals.

Martins: Mind if I use that line in my next Western?

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Opening narrator: I never knew the old Vienna before the war with its Strauss music, its glamour and easy charm. Constantinople suited me better.

[Scenes of black market goods changing hands]

Opening narrator: I really got to know it in the classic period of the black market. We'd run anything if people wanted it enough and had the money to pay. Of course a situation like that does tempt amateurs

[Dead body seen floating in the river]

Opening narrator: but, well, you know, they can't stay the course like a professional.

Opening narrator: Now the city is divided into four zones, you know, each occupied by a power: the American, the British, the Russian and the French. But the centre of the city that's international policed by an international patrol. One member of each of the four powers. Wonderful! What a hope they had! All strangers to the place and none of them could speak the same language. Except a sort of smattering of German.

Opening narrator: Good fellows on the whole, did their best you know. Vienna doesn't really look any worse than a lot of other European cities. Bombed about a bit.

Opening narrator: Oh, I was going to tell you, wait, I was going to tell you about Holly Martins, an American. Came all the way here to visit a friend of his. The name was Lime, Harry Lime. Now Martins was broke and Lime had offered him, some sort, I don't know, some sort of job.

Opening narrator: Anyway, there he was, poor chap. Happy as a lark and without a cent.

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Calloway: [to Holly Martins] You were born to be murdered.

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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"?

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Anna Schmidt: A person doesn't change just because you find out more.

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Crabbin: [inviting Holly Martins to give a lecture at the local Cultural Reeducation Society] We do a little show each week. Last week we had "Hamlet." The week before we had... something.

Sgt. Paine: The striptease, sir.

Crabbin: Yes, the Hindu dancers. Thank you, sergeant.

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Calloway: We should have dug deeper than a grave.

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Harry Lime: What did you want me to do? Be reasonable. You didn't expect me to give myself up... 'It's a far, far better thing that I do.' The old limelight. The fall of the curtain. Oh, Holly, you and I aren't heroes. The world doesn't make any heroes outside of your stories.

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Calloway: I told you to go away, Martins. This isn't Santa Fe. I'm not a sheriff and you aren't a cowboy. You've been blundering around with the worst bunch of racketeers in Vienna, your precious Harry's friends, and now you're wanted for murder.

Martins: Put down drunk and disorderly too.

Calloway: I have.

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Martins: I guess nobody really knew Harry like he did... like I did.

Calloway: How long ago ?

Martins: Back in school. I was never so lonesome in my life until he showed up.

Calloway: When did you see him last ?

Martins: September, '39.

Calloway: When the business started ?

Martins: Um, hmm.

Calloway: See much of him before that ?

Martins: Once in a while. Best friend I ever had.

Calloway: That sounds like a cheap novelette.

Martins: Well, I write cheap novelettes.

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Martins: Oh, Anna, why do we always... have to quarrel?

Anna Schmidt: If you want to sell your services, I'm not willing to be the price. I loved him. You loved him. What good have we done him? Love. Look at yourself.They have a name for faces like that.

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Martins: When he was 14, he taught me the three-card trick. That's growing up fast.

Anna Schmidt: He never grew up. The world grew up around him, that's all.

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Martins: Listen, Callahan!

Calloway: Calloway. I'm English, not Irish.

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British MP: I'm sorry, Miss, it's orders. We can't go against the protocol.

Anna Schmidt: I don't even know what protocol means.

British MP: Neither do I, Miss.

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Porter: He is now

[points up]

Porter: in hell, or

[points down]

Porter: in heaven.

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Martins: I'd make comic faces... and stand on my head and grin at you between my legs... and tell all sorts of jokes. I wouldn't stand a chance, would I?

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Calloway: Next time we'll have a foolproof coffin.

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Calloway: It had meningitis. They gave it some of Lime's penicillin. Terrible pity isn't it.

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Anna Schmidt: We're both in it, Harry.

Holly Martins: Holly!

Anna Schmidt: l'm so sorry.

Holly Martins: lt's all right. You might get my name right.

Anna Schmidt: You know, you ought to find yourself a girl.

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Popescue: That's a nice girl, that. But she ought to go careful in Vienna. Everybody ought to go careful in a city like this.

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Anna Schmidt: Poor Harry, I wish he was dead. He'd be safe from all of you then.

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Holly Martins: l was told that a third man helped you and Kurtz carry the body.

Popescu: l don't know how you got that idea. You'll find all about it in the police report. There was just the two of us, me and the Baron. Who could have told you a story like that ?

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Holly Martins: Who was the third man?

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Holly Martins: I'd make comic faces... and stand on my head and grin at you between my legs... and tell all sorts of jokes. I wouldn't stand a chance, would I?

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Crabbin: Hello, Mr. Martins! I've been trying to reach you at your hotel. I've arranged the lecture for tomorrow.

Holly Martins: Oh? What about?

Crabbin: On the modern novel, you remember? What we arranged. I want you to talk about the crisis of faith.

Holly Martins: What's that?

Crabbin: Oh, I thought you'd know. You're a writer.

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Holly Martins: There was a third man there. l suppose that doesn't sound peculiar to you.

Maj. Calloway: l'm not interested in whether a racketeer like Lime was killed by his friends or by an accident. The only important thing is that he's dead.

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Holly Martins: Didn't you hear Mr. Crabbin offer me the hospitality of the H.Q.B.M.T. ?

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Holly Martins: Did you ever read a book of mine called, "The Lone Rider of Santa Fe"?

Sgt. Paine: No, not that one, sir.

Holly Martins: lt's a story about a man who hunted down a sheriff who was victimizing his best friend.

Crabbin: Seems exciting.

Holly Martins: lt is! l'm gunning just the same way for your Major Callaghan.

Sgt. Paine: Sounds anti-British, sir.

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Holly Martins: Did you ever hear of "The Lone Rider of Santa Fe"?

Maj. Calloway: Can't say that l have.

Holly Martins: "Death at Double-X Ranch"? Uh, "Raunch".

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Holly Martins: Driver! Driver! Slow down! Have you got orders to kill me?

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Maj. Calloway: Miss Schmidt, you were intimate with Lime, weren't you ?

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Popescu: l helped Harry fix her papers, Mr. Martins.

Holly Martins: Oh, you did?

Popescu: Not a sort of thing l should confess to a stranger, but you have to break the rules sometimes. Humanity - is a duty. Cigarette, Miss Schmidt?

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Popescu: Can l ask, is Mr. Martins engaged on a new book?

Holly Martins: Yes. lt's called, "The Third Man".

Popescu: A novel, Mr. Martins?

Holly Martins: lt's a murder story. l've just started it. lt's based on fact.

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Maj. Calloway: He gave you the number of the Casanova Club. That's where a lot of friends of Lime used to go.

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Holly Martins: ls it comedy or tragedy?

Anna Schmidt: Comedy. l don't play tragedy.

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Popescu: Why wasn't he at the police inquiry?

Holly Martins: He doesn't want to get involved.

Popescu: You'll never teach these Austrians to be good citizens. lt was his duty to give the evidence.

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Popescu: l'd say you were doing something pretty dangerous this time.

Holly Martins: Yeah?

Popescu: Mixing fact and fiction.

Holly Martins: Should l make it all fact?

Popescu: Why, no, Mr. Martins. l'd say stick to fiction. Straight fiction.

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Anna Schmidt: Oh, please. For heaven's sake, stop making him in your image. Harry was real. He wasn't just your friend and my lover. He was Harry.

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Holly Martins: This is more like a mortuary than a police headquarters.

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Holly Martins: Don't preach wisdom to me.

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Holly Martins: l knew him for 20 years - at least, l thought l knew him. Suppose he was laughing at fools like us all the time?

Anna Schmidt: He liked to laugh.

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Holly Martins: l'll be your dumb decoy duck.

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Anna Schmidt: Honest, sensible, sober, harmless Holly Martins. Holly. What a silly name.

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[last lines]

Maj. Calloway: Be sensible, Martins.

Holly Martins: l haven't got a sensible name, Calloway.

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Holly Martins: Well, what's this? Where are we?

Sgt. Paine: lt's the main sewer. Runs right into the blue Danube. Smells sweet, doesn't it?

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Holly Martins: Tell him l'll wait by that wheel there. Or, do ghosts only rise by night, Dr. Winkel ?

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Maj. Calloway: l never knew there were snake charmers in Texas.

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Holly Martins: lt wasn't the German gin.

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Holly Martins: l'm just a hack writer who drinks too much and - falls in love with girls. You.

Anna Schmidt: Me?

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Holly Martins: A lot of good your money will do you in jail.

Harry Lime: That jail's in another zone.

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Anna Schmidt: l don't know anything anymore, except l want to be dead too. Some more tea?

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