In a bombed-out Vienna just after WWII, novelist Holly Martins (Joseph Cotten) arrives from America to renew a friendship with his childhood buddy, Harry Lime (Orson Welles). Much to the dismay of Holly, a freak auto accident has recently killed his friend, according to those who knew Harry.But in searching for details of Lime’s death, Holly gets contradictory stories that don’t add up. One of the persons who knew Lime is an attractive woman named Anna Schmidt (Alida Valli) whose continued presence in the story invites suspicion. The film’s plot has Holly searching for the truth about his friend, while trying to stave off a city detective, Major Calloway (Trevor Howard) who tries to persuade Holly to leave Vienna.The film’s story is okay. But what makes “The Third Man” really interesting is the B&W cinematography, by Robert Krasker. Unlike most films, camera movement here is restricted, so as to draw attention to each frame’s geometry. Typically in this film, a frame is tilted at an angle so that both vertical and horizontal points of reference are off-kilter. Frame images thus become a series of diagonal straight lines and curves. Further, very high-contrast lighting, especially in outdoor scenes at night, creates a bizarre, almost nightmarish look and feel, and are suggestive of German Expressionism.All of which results in a visual disorientation for viewers that parallels Holly’s disorientation both in the streets of Vienna and in his understanding of the circumstances surrounding Lime’s absence. In most outdoor scenes there’s a conspicuous lack of crowds, a lack of hubbub one would expect in a bustling city. Instead, only a few secondary characters appear in night scenes. This sparseness in characters on the streets conveys the impression that hidden eyes are watching Holly, ready to pounce at any moment from out of dark shadows.”Everybody ought to (be) careful in a city like this”, says one character to Holly, as an implied threat. Soon, a man who wants to give Holly some valuable information is murdered.The script’s dialogue is quite impressive, with some interesting lines and points of view. Some of the dialogue is in German, which enhances authenticity.The film’s acting and editing are very, very good. Adding a slightly romantic, and at times melancholy, tone to this dark film is the music of the “zither”, an instrument similar to a guitar, but sounding quite different.My one complaint about this film is that it’s hard to keep tabs on some of the background characters. Trying to connect names with faces can be difficult, resulting in some confusion.”The Third Man” tells an interestingly bleak story, set in a bleak, desolate urban environment, rendered truly mesmerizing by the creatively surreal B&W cinematography.
The Third Man (1949) Movie Data
The Third Man (1949) is Film-Noir Mystery Thriller Genres film which released in 1949. The Third Man (1949) supported by Alida Valli, Orson Welles, and Joseph Cotten. This movie has 1h 33min duration and rating around 8.3 star from 120,696 movie experts. Not bad.
The Third Man (1949) Short Storyline
Pulp novelist Holly Martins travels to shadowy, postwar Vienna, only to find himself investigating the mysterious death of an old friend, Harry Lime.
Actor Actress behind The Third Man (1949) Movie
Orson Welles,Joseph Cotten,Alida Valli
Director: Carol Reed
Writer: Graham Greene
The Third Man (1949) PLOT STORY
An out of work pulp fiction novelist, Holly Martins, arrives in a post war Vienna divided into sectors by the victorious allies, and where a shortage of supplies has led to a flourishing black market. He arrives at the invitation of an ex-school friend, Harry Lime, who has offered him a job, only to discover that Lime has recently died in a peculiar traffic accident. From talking to Lime’s friends and associates Martins soon notices that some of the stories are inconsistent, and determines to discover what really happened to Harry Lime.
Pulp novelist Holly Martins, portrayed by Joseph Cotten, has traveled to Vienna because his friend, Harry Lime, portrayed by Orson Welles, has offered him a job. However, upon his arrival, Martins is told that Lime died in an accident. Driven to investigate Lime’s death, Martins soon discovers incredible dark secrets about Lime’s life and death.
In the post Second World War, the unemployed pulp fiction writer Holly Martins arrives in Vienna to meet with his old friend from school, Harry Lime, who has offered him a job. On the arrival, he learns that Harry has just died, hit by a truck in front of his building, and he goes to his funeral. Holly Martins sees a beautiful woman, Anna Schmidt, and a friend of Harry and sooner he learns that Anna was Harry’s lover. Maj. Calloway, who is commanding the investigation, offers the ticket to Holly return home, but while waiting for the trip, he talks to two friends of Harry that tell that they had been the firsts to help his friend. However, the porter of Harry’s building tells that there was a mysterious third man that helped Harry and Holly Martins becomes intrigued with the inconsistency and decides to investigate further. Sooner he discloses that Harry Lime was the leader of a gang that robbed penicillin from the military hospital to adulterate and resell it, and has caused the death and anomalies in many children. He continues to investigate and he has a great surprise when he finds who the third man is.
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