The Third Man

The Third Man

Carol Reed (1949)

PG Certificate


Our Score
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, whose amiable American pulp novelist uncovers all sorts of murky dealings while looking for old friend Harry Lime. 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.


American writer Holly Martins goes to post-Second World War Vienna at the invitation of his old friend Harry Lime, only to find he has died. However, the author finds the circumstances surrounding his death fail to add up and goes in search of the truth - but is unprepared for the ugly secrets he uncovers. Carol Reed's thriller, written by Graham Greene, starring Joseph Cotten, Orson Welles, Alida Valli and Trevor Howard.

Cast & 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
Popescu Siegfried Breuer
Dr Winkel Erich Ponto
Crabbin Wilfrid Hyde White
Anna's "old woman" Hedwig Bleibtreu
Porter's wife Annie Rosar
"Little" Hansl Herbert Halbik
Brodsky Alexis Chesnakov
British policeman Geoffrey Keen
Director Carol Reed
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Other Information

Language: EnglishBlack and whiteTheatrical distributor: Studio CanalAvailable on: video, DVD and Blu-rayReleased on: 29 Sep 2019