Tuesday, February 4, 2014

The Third Man (1949)

The Third Man

Holly Martins (played by Joseph Cotten), is a third-rate American pulp novelist who arrives in postwar Vienna. He has been promised a job by his old friend Harry Lime (played by Orson Welles). Upon his arrival, Martins discovers that Lime has been killed in a traffic accident, and that his funeral is taking place immediately. At the graveside, Martins meets Major Calloway (Trevor Howard) and actress Anna Schmidt (Alida Valli), who is weeping copiously. When Calloway tells Martins that the late Harry Lime was a thief and murderer, the loyal Martins is at first outraged. Gradually, he discovers not only that Calloway was right but also that the man lying in the coffin in the film's early scenes was not Harry Lime at all. And that Lime is still very much alive. He was the mysterious "third man" at the scene of the fatal accident, thus the stage is set for the movie's famous climactic confrontation in the sewers of Vienna. And the even more famous is the final shot, in which Martins pays emotionally for doing "the right thing."

Joseph Cotten as Holly Martins
Alida Valli as Anna Schmidt
Orson Welles as Harry Lime
Trevor Howard as Major Calloway
Bernard Lee as Sgt. Paine
Wilfrid Hyde-White as Crabbin
Erich Ponto as Dr. Winkel
Ernst Deutsch as 'Baron' Kurtz
Siegfried Breuer as Popescu
Paul Hörbiger as Karl, Harry's Porter

Written by
Graham Green 

Directed by
Carol Reed


  1. Oh, that's an iconic film poster!

  2. Love this film, and LOVE this image, it is perfect.