The Third Man
The Third Man (1949)

In this Cold War spy classic, Holly Martins (Joseph Cotten), a third-rate American pulp novelist, arrives in postwar Vienna, where he has been promised a job by his old friend Harry Lime (Orson Welles). Upon his arrival, Martins discovers… More

Directed By:
Rated: Unrated
Running Time:
Release Date: November 30, 1999
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Critic Score: 100% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews

Consensus: This atmospheric thriller is one of the undisputed masterpieces of cinema, and boasts iconic performances from Joseph Cotten and Orson Welles.

David Ansen

It transformed the way I looked at the world.

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Bosley Crowther
New York Times

Top credit must go to Mr. Reed for molding all possible elements into a thriller of superconsequence.

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Manny Farber
The Nation

The movie's verve comes from the abstract use of a jangling zither and from squirting Orson Welles into the plot piece-meal with a tricky, facetious eyedropper.

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Jeff Millar
Houston Chronicle

Welles gives Harry a mask of irony that turns all moral judgment back on itself. He turns a mass murderer into a wry rogue, and makes his villainy all the more horrifying because we rather like him.

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James Berardinelli

For lovers of film noir, The Third Man is unquestionably a must-see -- one of the masterpieces of a genre that has contained everything from milestone motion pictures to low-budget potboilers.

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Michael Nordine
Not Coming to a Theater Near You

The truth is often what one least expects it to be, and the ability to cope with the seemingly unbelievable is a dividing line between Reed's characters.

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Andrew Sarris
New York Observer

Seen today, The Third Man ... can be appreciated as a prophetic statement on the eventual moral bankruptcy of the one-world euphoria that clouded men's minds immediately after the second 'war to end all wars.'

Susan Stark
Detroit News

The Third Man is like the exhausted aftermath of Casablanca.

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Scott G. Mignola
Common Sense Media

As powerful and original now as it was in 1949.

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More reviews for The Third Man

Flixster Audience Score: 94% Flixster User Reviews
Carlos Magalhães
Despite its distracting overuse of Dutch angle shots, this is a classic film noir crafted beautifully by Reed and Graham Greene (who worked on it by writing his… More
Jim Hunter
A novelist investigates the suspicious death of his friend in Vienna. A masterpiece in noir stylistic tricks with its layered mystery, shadowy shots, and… More
Spencer S.
The absolute in spy classics, and Carol Reed's best directorial effort, "The Third Man" remains one of the most interesting and politically… More
Melvin White
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.'… More
Tsubaki Sanjuro
If you take away Welles it wouldn't be that memorable, and even with him, the movie is still not that memorable. What do you remember about this aside from… More
Graham Jones
Joseph Cotton at his finest (paired with Shadow Of A Doubt by Hitchcock) and Welles is perfectly cast.