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Directed by Carol Reed

United Kingdom 1948 104 mins.

Pulp novelist Holly Martins (Joseph Cotten) travels to shadowy postwar Vienna at the invitation of an old friend, black-market opportunist Harry Lime (Welles), only to find himself investigating his friend’s mysterious death. Thus begins this twisting, subversive tale of love, deception, and murder. Thanks to brilliant performances, Anton Karas’s famously evocative zither score, Graham Greene’s razor-sharp dialogue, and cinematographer Robert Krasker’s dramatic use of light and shadow, Reed’s The Third Man has continued to grow in stature as the years pass. “One great shot after another. I’ve seen it 50 times and it’s still magic.”—Roger Ebert.

Genres: Crime, Drama, Thriller, Noir

Appears in: Orson Welles at 100