The Third Man

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“Of all the movies I have seen, this one most completely embodies the romance of going to the movies.” — Roger Ebert 

Session Times

Saturday May 03 - 6:00pm

Hoyts Riccarton, CHRISTCHURCH
Director: Carol Reed
Year: 1949
Country: UK
Running time: 105 mins
Censor Rating: G

Screenplay: Graham Greene

Photography: Robert Krasker

Editor: Oswald Hafenrichter

Music: Anton Karas



With: Joseph Cotton (Holly Martins), Alida Valli (Anna Schmidt), Orson Welles (Harry Lime), Trevor Howard (Major Calloway), Bernard Lee (Sergeant Paine), Paul Hoerbiger (Karl, Harry’s porter), Ernst Deutsch (‘Baron’ Kurtz), Siegfried Breuer (Popescu), Erich Ponto (Dr. Winkel), Wilfrid Hyde-White (Crabbin), Hedwig Bleibtreu (Anna’s old landlady)

Ranked first in the British Film Institute’s wide-reaching, end-of-century survey of British cinema, The Third Man is film noir with rare pedigree: director Carol Reed and actor Orson Welles bring sinister flamboyance to novelist Graham Greene’s literate, perfectly structured thriller script. The setting is devastated post-war Vienna, where American pulp writer Holly Martins (Joseph Cotten) has been summoned by his old school friend Harry Lime (Welles). But Harry, it seems, is no longer alive. With a sceptical British Army major (Trevor Howard) and a mysterious actress suggesting possible lines of enquiry, Martins is lured into a criminal underworld of macabre decadence.  

The Third Man remains among the most consummate of British thrillers: Reed and Greene’s sardonic vision of smiling corruption is deliciously realised with superb location work, a roster of seasoned Viennese performers and the raised eyebrow of Anton Karas’ jaunty zither score. Although his screen time is famously scanty, Orson Welles’ Harry haunts each scene: everywhere and invisible, he’s a smirking Cheshire cat of a villain, a superb case study in shameless charisma as poisonous contagion.” — Ben Walters, Time Out