• The Third Man (1950)

The Third Man

Release Date: February 2nd, 1950

DVD Release Date: November 23rd, 1999

Not Yet Rated |1 hr 44 min

Plot Summary

Set in postwar Vienna, Austria, "The Third Man" stars Joseph Cotten as Holly Martins, a writer of pulp Westerns, who arrives penniless as a guest of his childhood chum Harry Lime (Orson Welles), only to find him dead. Martins develops a conspiracy theory after learning of a "third man" present at the time of Harry's death, running into interference from British officer Maj. Calloway (Trevor Howard) and falling head-over-heels for Harry's grief-stricken lover, Anna (Alida Valli).

Cast: Orson Welles, Joseph Cotten, Trevor Howard, Alida Valli, Paul Hoerbiger, Ernst Deutsch, Erich Ponto, Siegfried Breuer

Director: Carol Reed

Genres: Mystery , Thriller

Production Co: London Film Production, British Lion Film Corporation [gb]

Distributors: Selznick International Pictures, British Lion Films Ltd., Spiegel Media GmbH, Warner Home Vídeo, Vintage Video, Continental Home Vídeo [br]

Keywords: Friend, Investigation, Hospital, Mystery, Suspenseful, Murder, Dark, 1940s, Love interest, Pursuit, Love triangle

Ratings & Reviews

  • 100
    Michael WilmingtonChicago Tribune

    The Third Man is a film where everything works: script, direction, the performances of Welles, Cotten, Trevor Howard (the cynical police major) and Alida Valli (the enigmatic traveler), Robert Krasker's flamboyantly tilted black-and-white cinematography and the unforgettably spare and haunting zither score by Anton Karas. [5 Sept 1996, p.6]

  • 100
    Roger EbertChicago Sun-Times

    Of all the movies I have seen, this one most completely embodies the romance of going to the movies. show more

  • 100
    Michael PhillipsChicago Tribune

    A triumph of disparate tones, colors and intentions. Like many, I have loved this thriller of conscience and betrayal most of my moviegoing life...Its brand of romantic fatalism is particularly seductive to teenage males, I think, and those who never fully recover from that moviegoing state of being. show more

See all critic reviews on metacritic.com

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Winner Grand Prize of the Festival
Cannes Film Festival (1949)
Winner Cinematography (Black-and-White)
Nominated Directing
Nominated Film From Any Source
British Academy of Film & Television Arts (1950)
Nominated Film Editing
Winner British Film
British Academy of Film & Television Arts (1950)