The Third Man

The Third Man

DVD - 2007
Average Rating:
Rate this:
Pulp novelist Holly Martins travels to shadowy, postwar Vienna, only to find himself investigating the mysterious death of an old friend, black-market opportunist Harry Lime-- and thus begins this legendary tale of love, deception, and murder.


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

simply one of the best films ever made. that orson could act, couldn't he. joe cotton, too. and the zither, oh my.

Jun 05, 2017

Filming is spectacular. Black and White film - shadows, props and actors that can really act with facial expressions that tell a story in itself. Very good movie

Jul 02, 2016

Postwar Vienna, as the world settles and recovers from a devastating war, a new mystery is brewing in the heart of the capital of Austria. The Third Man was a movie that dazzled the stage of 1949 and soon became one of the most famous movies of all time only being toppled by Orson Welles’ very own, Citizen Kane. The film sheds light on the very naïve Holly Hamilton (Joseph Cotton) arriving in Vienna for a job only to find his partner dead. The stories of the killing told by his partner’s friends do not match to each other leading to a very suspicious Hamilton to investigate. The movie utilizes shadows to create an eerie feeling on the streets of Vienna which is scored by an infamous soundtrack. The movie does not fail to disappoint and is a requirement to be watched by everybody as an timeless classic. Once again, the duo that is Orson Welles and Joseph Cotton continue to astonish the silver screen, one movie at a time. - @LordoftheBooks of the Teen Review Board at the Hamilton Public Library

Jun 28, 2016

One of the greats from the days when a few directors and producers combined their skills with those of the best movie talent of all time to produce gripping, thoughtful, fast-paced movies. Which the watchers then thought about occasionally for days afterward. The portrayal of that brief period of post-WWII occupation Vienna is also well worth the watch in its own right.

Mar 12, 2016

The sound quality was not good on the Bu-Ray version. The music was loud while the dialog seemed to rise and fall in volume for no reason. Some of the dialog was muffled and not decipherable

Jan 20, 2016

Let's just find out about human love and loyalty

Dec 05, 2015

A wonderful movie which I have watched several times. Set Vienna in a period shortly after the end of the second world war. The movie takes you back to a time when the allies are still cooperating, while the black market is running rampant.
Watch for transitions using the the little boy, and the cat; the angle shots to show that there is something wrong with the situation.
I particularly like how the funeral scenes are repeated and the symbolism of the ending. A well deserved 5 stars.

Sadly this DVD is out of print, making it impossible for the library to buy new copies. See it while you can, because it is an amazing film!

THUD55 May 19, 2015

wonderful movie. watch the extras if you get that dvd. the music, the dialogue, the scenery and the story make this a must watch movie.

xaipe May 16, 2015

The Third Man is my all-time favorite movie. Filmed in moody black & white, with its haunting theme played on a zither, it captures (or I believe it captures) a post-war Vienna like no other film captures the end of an era. I’ve visited Vienna several times, and It always provokes images of this movie in my mind from the Zentralfriedhof, the cemetery of the opening and closing shots of the story, to St. Stephen's Cathedral, and the cobblestoned streets, to the giant ferris wheel in the Prater, where one of the most famous scenes in the movie takes place. Not much is left now of the wrecked city of the movie, but Vienna provokes a sense of nostalgia in me that few other cities do. Most people who love movies have seen The Third Man. If you haven’t, you have a treat awaiting. The corruption of the black market following the war, the cynicism of the police and citizens, the indestructible beauty of the war-ravished city are all there. Joseph Cotton portrays an American innocent in search of his friend Harry Lime (Orson Welles). We hear terrible stories of Lime’s criminal activities and the horrors they produced. The book is by Graham Greene and directed by Carole Reed. It was shot entirely on location in Vienna where mountains of rubble, gaping bomb craters, showed the reality of the war. No Hollywood backlot could have produced the effect of the real postwar nightmare. It’s hard to imagine improving on this movie. The script, casting, direction, expressionistic camerawork all create an unforgettable film, and Welles makes one of the most famous entrances in the history of movies. And the soundtack! The addition of Anton Karas’s zither theme which was a happy accident when the director heard him playing in a café was pure genius. Not a movie to miss or to ever be forgotten.

Anton Karas playing the theme from The Third Man.

View All Comments


Add a Summary

Jun 27, 2015

Holly goes to Vienna to his friend Harry's funeral, only to find out that Harry's death has a mysterious cause.


Add a Quote

Feb 26, 2013

Harry Lime: "...Don't be so gloomy. After all it's not that awful. Like the fella says, in Italy for thirty years under the Borgias they had warfare, terror, murder, and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and the Renaissance. In Switzerland they had brotherly love -- they had five hundred years of democracy and peace, and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock! So long Holly."


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at WCLS

To Top