The Third Man
The Third Man (1949)

American writer, Holly Martins, arrives in post-war Vienna to visit his old friend Harry Lime. On arrival, he learns that his friend has been killed in a street accident, but also that Lime was a black marketer wanted by the police.

Directed By:
Rated: Unrated
Running Time:
Release Date: September 3, 1949
DVD 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.

Mark Feeney
Boston Globe

Krasker's camera reveals a dank, matte, defeated city - so dully vivid as to be a character unto itself - except that this Vienna becomes something altogether different seen at night or underground.

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Andrew O'Hehir

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

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MFB Critics
Monthly Film Bulletin

By the very nature of its settings and story, there are occasional reminiscences of Lang and Hitchcock, but there is nothing borrowed or imitated. Stylistically, The Third Man is Reed's most impressive film.

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Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times

Reed and screenwriter Graham Greene let the story unfold slowly and deliberately, like the cigarette smoke that floats around the characters, and keep us guessing at every step.

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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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Rob Gonsalves

Welles was a still-ridiculously young 34 when he played Harry, but he was probably born sounding 56...

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Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune

Like many, I have loved this thriller of conscience and betrayal most of my moviegoing life.

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Stephanie Zacharek
Village Voice

The Third Man is a movie of sobering pleasures.

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Emily S. Mendel

The bombed buildings, piles of rubble and their evocative shadows form a haunting backdrop to the outdoor scenes, particularly at night. ... Greene's talent for dialogue and suspense shine. [It] has more twists and turns than a rollercoaster.

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More reviews for The Third Man

Flixster Audience Score: 93% 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.