Retro Review: The Third Man (1949)

One of the best films ever made…


This British thriller is considered by many to be one of the greatest films ever made. I wonder if there is a film fan out there who has never seen it? If so, you are missing a treat indeed.

Directed by Carol Reed, screenplay by Graham Greene, and cinematography by Robert Krasker, this black and white film is simply stunning, in every way imaginable. And that’s even before you consider the cast, led by Joseph Cotten, Orson Welles, Trevor Howard, Bernard Lee, and Alida Valli. Add an amazingly memorable soundtrack from Anton Karas, and ‘masterpiece’ is the word that springs to mind.

The setting is post-war Vienna, and location filming puts us right into the heart of that European city. Like Berlin at the time, the city is divided into zones controlled by each of the victorious allies, and Black Market dealing and racketeering is rife. American fiction writer Holly…

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