& Freedom Press Classic Film Reviews


Adapted from the Graham Greene novel of the same name, the British b/w film, 'The Third Man', is very atmospheric, with Orson Welles outstanding as the mysterious and cynical Harry Lime, a man dismissive of cuckoo clocks!

Lime is a man exploiting the misery of Vienna post 1945, with a bemused Westerns writer Joseph Cotten playing his friend Holly Martins (Rollo Martins in the book), and also the film's narrator. Arguably, this was Welles's best-ever cinematic performance. His first appearance, in a darkened doorway, and the expression on his face, telegraphs what he is all about. Martins thinks his friend may have died in a car accident, so he's shocked when he sees he's very much alive and well.

Interestingly, co-producer David O. Selznick wanted Noel Coward, and not Orson Welles, for the Harry Lime role. Director/co-producer Carol Reed wanted Welles.

A fine cast included Trevor Howard (Maj. Calloway), Bernard Lee (Sgt. Paine), Alida Valli (Anna Schmidt), and Wilfrid Hyde-White (Crabbin). 'The Third Man' was 104 minutes long, and was directed by Carol Reed, and produced by Carol Reed, Alexander Korda, and David O. Selznick. Graham Greene wrote the screenplay. 'The Third Man' won the 1950 Oscar for Best Cinematography - Robert Krasker, and the film also received Oscar nominations for Best Director, Best Film Editing - Oswald Hafenrichter, and won Best Film at the Cannes Film Festival in 1949.

- Paul Rance/

The Third Man Main Cast List
Joseph Cotten as Holly Martins
Alida Valli as Anna Schmidt (as Valli)
Orson Welles as Harry Lime
Trevor Howard as Major Calloway
Bernard Lee as Sergeant Paine
Paul Hörbiger as Harry's Porter (as Paul Hoerbiger)
Ernst Deutsch as 'Baron' Kurtz
Siegfried Breuer as Popescu
Erich Ponto as Dr. Winkel
Wilfrid Hyde-White as Crabbin
Hedwig Bleibtreu as Anna's Old Landlady

Directed by Carol Reed


Orson Welles DVDs


Amazon DVDs of the film

'The Third Man DVD' The Third Man
The Third Man (50th Anniversary Edition) - Criterion Collection The Third Man (50th Anniversary Edition) - Criterion Collection




Available from, Graham Greene's Novel 'The Third Man'

The Third Man Author: Graham Greene The Third Man
Author: Graham Greene


Available from, 'The Third Man' Music CD

Product image for ASIN: B00009IB2A The Third Man


Films Index




© Copyright 2005-