The Third Man Movie Review Summary

Actors: Joseph Cotten, Trevor Howard, Orson Welles, Alida Valli

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of The Third Man

In Vienna just after the end of World War II: An out of work pulp fiction novelist, Holly Martins (Joseph Cotten), arrives in a post war Vienna at the urging of his friend Harry Lime (Orson Welles). But upon arriving, Martins finds out his friend is dead after being hit by a car and attends his funeral. But after the funeral and a chat with British Military Officer Major Calloway (Trevor Howard), Martins suspects his friend was murdered. His suspicions grow even more when he can only identify two of the men who carried Harry's body.
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Meeting with Harry's lover Anna Schmidt (Alida Valli), Martins delves into the world of the blackmarket in an attempt to find out who was the third man who dragged away Harry's body. But soon it leads to a drug racket and the discovery that Harry is really alive.

The review of this Movie prepared by Matthew W. Kresal

Out-of-work pulp fiction novelist Holly Martins (Cotten) travels to wartorn Vienna at the behest of his old friend Harry Lime, who has offered him a job. On arrival, Martins learns that Lime has been killed in a car accident. As Martins investigates, he finds the various stories don't add up. The commander of the British sector of the city, Major Calloway (Howard), informs Martins that his friend was an entrepreneurial criminal who made big money on the deaths of innocent people. Martins also falls for Lime's Czech girlfriend, Anna (Valli), who remains devoted to the dead man. This excellent 1949 noir has worn extremely well, and features Orson Welles at his physical and acting peak: vicious, charming, and utterly irresistable. He dominates the movie, though he doesn't appear on camera for much more than 10 of its 104 minutes.
The review of this Movie prepared by David Loftus

Based on the Graham Greene novel, THE THIRD MAN is a movie produced and directed by Carol Reed in 1949. The picture earned an Oscar (Best Cinematography) and two other nominations for the 1951 Academy Awards.

The setting is Vienna, Austria just after the end of WWII. The city is divided into four districts : american, british, french and russian. Joseph Cotten is a broke writer coming from America to see his old friend Harry Lime in Vienna . But all he can do is attend Harry's funeral as his friend has just died in an accident. But there is something wrong with this accident. Were there two or three men around when Harry died on the sidewalk ?

Cotten, dissatisfied with the way the police has treated this case, begins his own investigation in the company of Alida Valli, Harry Lime's girlfriend. Cotten falls violently in love with the young girl but Valli still lives with the memory of Harry and doesn't return Cotten's advances.

Working more and more closely on the case with Trevor Howard, the officer responsible for the british sector of Vienna, Cotten will learn that Harry Lime was in fact an odious criminal who didn't hesitate to sell impure penicillin to the local Vienna hospitals that caused numerous deaths among the patients. So when Harry -Orson Welles- Lime abruptly reappears, Cotten will join the ranks of the police against his old friend and take part into the famous manhunt in the sewers of Vienna.

The review of this Movie prepared by Daniel Staebler

Script Analysis of The Third Man

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Plot & Themes

Time/era of movie:    -   1930's-1950's Crime & Scandal    -   Yes Story of    -   con-artist/white collar crime

Main Character

Identity:    -   Male Profession/status:    -   writer Age:    -   20's-30's Ethnicity/Nationality    -   White American


Europe    -   Yes European country:    -   Austria City?    -   Yes City:    -   dirty, grimy (like New York)    -   dangerous Misc setting    -   fort/military installation    -   sewers/subways    -   bar

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   moderately detailed references to deaths Any profanity?    -   None Is this movie based on a    -   book

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