The Third Man

  • PG
  • Carol Reed (1949)
  • UK
  • 101 min
The Third Man
Film Review
Reviewed By
5 out of 5

Developed by Graham Greene from an idea jotted down on the flap of an envelope, this virtually flawless thriller is one of the best British films of all time. Set in postwar occupied Vienna, the plot is a corker, littered with memorable moments and played to perfection by an unforgettable cast that's led with distinction by Orson Welles and Joseph Cotten. A master of place, angle and shade, director Carol Reed (helped by his Oscar-winning cinematographer Robert Krasker) fashions a city in which menace lurks around every corner, while Anton Karas's jaunty zither music uniquely echoes the wit and drama of this dark yet daringly playful picture.

Plot Summary

Classic thriller written by Graham Greene, starring Joseph Cotten and Orson Welles and featuring Alida Valli. Holly Martins, a writer of western stories, arrives in Vienna after the end of the Second World War where he has been promised work by his old friend, Harry Lime. However, on his arrival, Martins is told that Lime is dead and was involved in racketeering. Martins resolves to clear his friend's name but his investigations uncover some disturbing truths.

Cast and crew


Holly Martins
Joseph Cotten
Anna Schmidt
Alida Valli
Harry Lime
Orson Welles
Major Calloway
Trevor Howard
Sergeant Paine
Bernard Lee
Harry's porter
Paul Hörbiger
"Baron" Kurtz
Ernst Deutsch
Siegfried Breuer
Dr Winkel
Erich Ponto
Wilfrid Hyde White
Anna's "old woman"
Hedwig Bleibtreu
Porter's wife
Annie Rosar
"Little" Hansl
Herbert Halbik
Alexis Chesnakov
British policeman
Geoffrey Keen


Carol Reed

Other Information

Black and White
Theatrical distributor: 
Contender Entertainment Group
Available on video, DVD and BluRay
Released 26 Jun 2015
Certificate PG