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.

Andrew O'Hehir

"The Third Man" is important not just because of its technique but because of its theme ...

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David Ansen

It transformed the way I looked at the world.

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David Jenkins
Little White Lies

This is a film which does away with such cretinous inanity as offering up goodies and baddies, instead presenting its cast of characters as doing things which they believe to be good, but are not seen as such through the eyes of observers.

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Joshua Rothkopf
Time Out

A lot funnier than you remember it, Carol Reed's immortal 1949 film noir seems to exist in the space between two worlds: an earlier time when thrillers were mostly serious affairs, and a future one, when such supremely witty entertainments felt passé.

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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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Wendy Ide
Times [UK]

Few films more effectively capture the crumbling infrastructure and opportunistic lawlessness of postwar Europe. And none better translate the snaking treachery of Graham Greene's stories and his worlds of cynical expats and casual betrayal.

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Stephanie Zacharek
Village Voice

The Third Man is a movie of sobering pleasures.

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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.'

David Parkinson
Radio Times

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.

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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.