1949 British film, winner of BAFTA Best Film award, set in post WWII Vienna


The Third Man - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
"The Third Man is a 1949 British film noir directed by Carol Reed and starring Joseph Cotten, Alida Valli, Orson Welles, and Trevor Howard. Many critics rank it as a masterpiece, particularly remembered for its atmospheric cinematography, performances, and unique musical score. The screenplay was written by novelist Graham Greene, later becoming his novella of the same name. Anton Karas wrote the score, which used only the zither; its title cut topped the international music charts in 1950. ..."

Cast and Crew

Joseph CottenHolly Martins
Orson WellesHarry Lime

Video Products

The Third Man (StudioCanal Collection) (1949), 14 Sep 2010
The Third Man: The Criterion Collection (1949), 23 Nov 1999


Memorializing the Horrors of War with 10 Must-See War Films, by John W. Whitehead, 27 May 2016
Comments on the events of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and on more recent wars, then suggests ten films that focus on "the nasty business of war"; ends by contrasting Obama's and Martin Luther King's Nobel Peace Prize speeches
"Carol Reed's The Third Man, which deals primarily with the after-effects of the ravages of war, is a great film by anyone's standards. Set in postwar Europe, this bleak film (written by Graham Greene) sets forth the proposition that the corruption inherent in humanity means that the ranks of war are never closed. There are many fine performances in this film, including Orson Welles, Joseph Cotten and Alida Valli."


The Third Man (1949), by Stephen W. Carson
"The libertarian virtue of this film is the unmasking of the State and its wars. Harry Lime, as a heart-rending visit with his victims shows, is evil for the way he uses people and spends lives for his own gain. But he is only doing what the State does on a smaller scale. ... Like the State and its apologists, he sees nobility only in conflict and makes fun of peaceful bourgeois accomplishments ..."


The Third Man (1949) - If one of those dots stopped moving forever, 1949
The ferris wheel scene, where Harry Lime expounds about governments (3:42) and the Borgias vs. the Swiss (4:55)

The Third Man Trailer, 1949