Watch
The Third Man

The Third Man

1949
Suspense/Thriller, Mystery
1h 33m
Arriving in Vienna, Holly Martins learns that his friend Harry Lime, who has invited him, recently died in a car accident.(imdb)
Directed by:
Written by:
Starring:
Country:
Languages:
Your probable score
?

The Third Man

1949
Suspense/Thriller, Mystery
1h 33m
Your probable score
Avg Percentile 76.67% from 4727 total ratings

Ratings & Reviews

(4728)
Compact view
Compact view
Rated 18 Feb 2007
6
98th
Though it is not the perfect example of film noir, to me it is the perfect noir movie. The stark chiaroscuro and oblique camera angles underline post-war Vienna with an edge, and the story is at once suspenseful, exciting, romantic and nostalgic. It's a work of perfection, and more fully embodies the romance of going to the movies than anything else I've seen.
Rated 06 Feb 2007
95
94th
The Third Man has a lot of things going for it, from the lighting to the music to its brutal cynicism, but Orson Welles still manages to steal the show every time he's on screen (which isn't often enough, damn it).
Rated 28 Mar 2008
94
95th
The Third Man is a special film. It is very dark, yet classy, and the score is completely different from the film's atmosphere, thus bringing many different emotions to the table. Reed does an incredible job of keeping us guessing what comes next, and the excellent use of shadows in the war torn Vienna was visually stunning. The entire cast was extremely good, but Orson Welles steals the show. From its opening, to the run in with Harry Lime, The Third Man is a unique film experience.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
95
97th
A great film noir, a fun plot to follow that is told with great skill. There are some really fantastic and memorable shots, and the acting is great all around. Orson Welles is very charming and devious as Harry Lime, but the rest of the cast does a great job too.
Rated 07 Mar 2007
5
93rd
So many memorable lines courtesy of Graham Greene. Carol Reed's shadowy realization of a crumbling Vienna. An infectious zither score. Orson Welles as the mythic, devilishly clever Harry Lime. One of those films that defies auteur theory, an iconic synthesis of many great talents.
Rated 18 Feb 2008
100
98th
This fucking movie, my god. Best entrance ever made by a character mid-film. The cinematography/lighting is so self-aware, and a great nod to Lang. Joseph Cotton and Welles once again prove to be quite a team. You can completely see the last scene in the movie coming but you're still impressed.
Rated 16 Jan 2009
92
99th
Stylistically this is the best movie I've ever seen. The music is great, but at times is a bit overbearing. The camerawork and acting are amazing. Early in the story it can drag on, but the last half is perfect. The ending is one for the ages.
Rated 25 Feb 2007
94
97th
Orson Welles really steals the show for me in this. Despite all the morally despicable actions he commited I found myself cheering him on more than any other character. I don't think I can speak more highly of his performance as the charming villian than that. Great cinematography as well, especially in the sewers.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
100
98th
One of the greatest film noirs of all time. The outstanding performances (especially those from Cotten and Welles) are what truly makes this picture, not to mention the excellent use of light/shadow, a cleverly ironic upbeat soundtrack, and a thought-provoking and morally ambiguous story.
Rated 22 Feb 2009
10
97th
(2nd viewing) Apart from being one of the most beautifully shot films I've seen - it's truly a mesmerizing watch - 'The Third Man' also happens to be one of the best thrillers out there, with a comical and lyrical beauty to it, emphasized by a charming score and awesome performance by Welles. Recommended!
Rated 24 Feb 2009
94
98th
This film is deeply engrossing, combining the romantic Venician atmosphere with a dark and gritty tale. There are twists and turns throughout the story, making it highly unpredictable and worthy of its place as a classic noir film.
Rated 23 Jun 2017
72
50th
I found the first half a test of patience, affectless characters rush through a bunch of dry exposition while zither guy plays like there's a gun to his head. The opening has no breathing room and every speaking role except Cotten's amounts to the phrase "you shouldn't get mixed up in this". Then Orson Welles swoops in and everything gets more spacious, atmospheric, emotionally engaging. It becomes the film I wanted it to be all along. The Ferris Wheel scene is a standout.
Rated 16 May 2007
68
70th
Can really see how this became a noir classic. It's good, it never drags or digresses, it's fast (some cuts are too fast, actually). The soundtrack is catchy and memorable. It's Cotten's acting that takes it down an entire notch - he never ever seems to have an appropriate facial expression. The rest of the cast is alright, though.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
9
98th
A sensational thriller that's held up virtually flawlessly over the last sixty years. Orson Welles is legendary as the charming and diabolical Harry Lime (for good reason), the black and white expressionist cinematography is stark, bold, and gorgeous, and the cinematic portrait of Vienna is beautiful. Fun fact: this movie's assistant director, Guy Hamilton, went on to helm four James Bond installments. Nice!
Rated 14 Aug 2007
95
98th
An awful lot has been said about this movie, so I'll just say that it's unquestionably a great film in every way.
Rated 11 Sep 2007
70
51st
An epic-feeling film that doesn't live up to its own hype. Well-shot, but has a less than intriguing story. Many elements that might have been fresh when this was released are now predictable and cliched. Orson Welles' character was interesting, but showed up too late.
Rated 26 Dec 2007
100
99th
My favorite film of all time. Cotten plays a great "accidental hero" who stumbles drunkenly into situations for which he is hardly prepared, backed with Trevor Howard's world-weary police chief, and of course, the all-important Welles cameo performance. Combine with those an intelligent story, a gallery of excellent supporting characters, an inspired score, and gorgeous cinematography which make Vienna seem a character itself, and you have a film noir which is as unusual as it is unforgettable.
Rated 07 Feb 2009
92
96th
Better than Chinatown. Great sleazy, slippery characters. Possibly the finest introduction to a film's villain, ever. The lighting and shadows the camera allows to us in that quaint city of Vienna is beyond description. Simply beyond description. It must be seen to be believed. The combative moods set by the score and the circumstances in the film are some times comedic, and other times quite disturbing. Welles' character is truly dark. Evil reinvented. Charming dialogue and premium suspense.
Rated 01 Mar 2007
95
98th
A masterpiece of cinematography, editing and acting. Welles delivers one of the best performances of his carreer in a scene-stealing turn. The final segment is specially inspired and exciting.
Rated 15 Feb 2009
10
98th
Some of the most impressive cinematography ever coupled with some of the best acting and editing ever and you have a great film. The last sequence in the sewer was incredible. I refuse to believe Welles didn't have some part in directing this.
Rated 20 Sep 2009
90
97th
Wonderfully moody and atmospheric. A lot of brooding tension in every scene. The tilted camera angles and war-torn areas of Vienna give the movie an otherworldly feel sometimes. There's a lot going on, especially during the first half, though the story itself seems a bit so-so.
Rated 20 Dec 2009
99
98th
Great Viennese atmosphere, a first-rate screenplay, fine acting by Cotton, Valli, Howard and Welles, and--yes--the zither music is real cool too. But this flawlessly directed, beautifully photographed thriller is also the chronicle of a moral odyssey, in which a naive American learns that--although evil may seem insignificant from the the top of a ferris wheel (or behind a bomb site?)--it nevertheless reveals itself when you look closely at the victims languishing in the charity ward.
Rated 21 Jun 2010
80
86th
Nicely shot. Heck, it's very nicely shot. The buildup is intriguing and suspenseful. Welles' acting and the reveal of his character is praised with good reason. But what's the further appeal? As a noir, it's way too black and white for me; that is, where is the nuance, the grey layers? However cool, Harry Lime is such a *probably unnecessary spoiler warning* cardboard baddie. And the end-chase in the sewer is frankly not that thrilling. I prefer 'The Fallen Idol', also by Reed and Greene.
Rated 26 Nov 2010
95
98th
If Harry Lime is supposed to be one of cinema's greatest villains, why did I feel so sorry for him by the end? That shot of his fingers poking through the sewer grating, all exits closed off, was sublime. Everything works in this film. The amazing lighting and use of shadow, the funky camera angles and perspectives and even the crazy music. I really loved Valli's performance too... an amazing portrayal of a woman beaten down by life, war and death; driven home by that wonderful final scene.
Rated 26 Mar 2012
38
23rd
I'm going to be vilified for saying this, but I really thought the film was overrated. It was shot beautifully, sure.. But the characters just aren't engaging at all. Cotten's character is a bore, I don't understand why anyone has any loyalty to Lime, and Anna is not worth the trouble. The mood set by the cinematography is offset by the jarring music. Sorry, but this is overrated.
Rated 12 Nov 2013
4
52nd
i'm starting to think i'm not much a fan of classic noir. the plot just wasn't all that great, though like most noir, it gets significantly better over time. editing was a bit fast, and the harry lime theme, whilst imparting a juxtaposed irony, is irritating on the zither. on the other hand welles is really, really great.
Rated 27 Feb 2007
92
99th
Easily one of the greatest noirs of all time, and arguably one of the best feature films. The lighting, the cinematography, the writing, the acting - everything is in top form here. Harry Lime is one of the greatest villains in cinema, and Welles' acting talents could not have been better utilized. Simply unforgettable.
Rated 27 Jul 2008
96
89th
A masterpiece! The Third Man is just the definite neo-noir thriller with a very classy score and masterful editing along with stellar acting. Very, very ambitious and questioning.
Rated 01 Jun 2009
100
97th
A collection of brilliant actors working in front of a brilliant director from a brilliant script set to brilliant music. Bluray is a must here.
Rated 30 Jul 2009
99
99th
Maybe the best cinematography ever lensed. The entire movie is absolutely captivating.
Rated 25 Aug 2009
100
99th
The Third Man brilliantly displays the catastrophic impact and destruction wrought by war and conflict. The aftermath of WWII in Vienna is devastating, seen not just in the beautifully shot rubble, dark corners, and sewers of the once glamorous city, but also more acutely in the lives of the people trying to make their way in that once glorious locale. No character embodies this tragedy more than Harry Lime, played by Welles, who offers one of the great cinematic performances of all time.
Rated 06 Dec 2009
78
93rd
For me it didn't live up to expectations. Black and white cinematography is great, but the story lacks the suspense that most of other film-noir have. That music score sure gets repetitive. Welles is charismatic as ever.
Rated 09 Sep 2010
86
98th
The cinematography and the use of shadows is just fantastic, Welles manages to deliver a memorable performance in an incredibly short amount of time, and the score (although seemingly inappropriate) works very well with the film and helps build great suspense.
Rated 25 Sep 2010
92
96th
Some of the best black and white cinematography ever. Honestly, I thought the first half was a little boring but it's necessary to set up the amazing second half. Orson Welles does such a great job with such little screen time, and his speech on the Ferris wheel is one of my favorite scenes in any movie.
Rated 06 Feb 2011
87
50th
A well-shot mystery with an uninteresting protagonist and an out-of-place musical score. Welles knocks it out of the park though unfortunately he is only in the film for a few minutes.
Rated 06 Feb 2014
100
99th
This tense thriller set in post-war Vienna is near-perfect, with Joseph Cotten's ingenuous American searching for an old friend, bringing him to some startling revelations of corruption and evil. The script is exceptional, waiting just long enough to introduce Welles' charismatic villain, and the direction effective in creating a romantic but desperately gloomy world. The performances are truly memorable, notably from Howard and Welles, the cinematography, set design and score all superb.
Rated 16 Feb 2014
90
92nd
Welles saying tablets is my new ringtone.
Rated 18 Mar 2007
95
94th
The Third Man is a superb movie. It's gripping and visually ambitious. It's the kind of movie that makes you wonder how others aren't as impressive because it doesn't seem to be at this insurmountable level of quality, yet it is.
Rated 09 May 2008
97
98th
Worth watching just to see Orson Welles in his role. The rest of the movie is great of course, but it really comes alive whenever Orson is on screen.
Rated 28 Apr 2009
65
44th
Beautifully shot and initially intriguing, but the resolution is all a bit obvious and the movie runs out of steam well before it ends.
Rated 29 Jun 2009
79
71st
I'm a bit disappointed I must confess. I have expected much more, it is a visual tour de force alright, but it is not a coherently excellent movie for me. Up until Welles shows up, the characters are dull and honestly there is only one possible twist within the premise of the plot; so it is not that surprising either. I deeply hated the musical score by the way.
Rated 29 Oct 2009
91
94th
Fantastic noir. Perfectly shot, and very well-acted. Welles is so awesome.
Rated 12 Jan 2010
95
98th
The soundtrack is totally different from the film's dark plot, and the cinematography is absolutely fantastic, with an extraordinary use of shadows and beautiful shots. The editing of the final scene, a chase in the tunnels, is one of the greatest ever made. This is noir at its best.
Rated 11 Mar 2010
92
95th
Hits the perfect balance between Hollywood noir and artistic indie style. The reveal of Welles' character was great. All of the performances were great, but Welles just stands out so much despite his small amount of screen time. The Ferris wheel scene is outstanding, as is the zither score.
Rated 17 Sep 2010
77
94th
One of the most absurdly-upbeat scores ever. Wonderful.
Rated 28 Oct 2010
7
78th
Great cinematography, and great lighting, yada-yada. This, at least to me, is one of those films that fits like a glove into any text-book critque, but lacked a certain 'spirit' or 'charm' that stopped it from reaching the upper echelons. Perhaps I am missing something, as the plot is certainly full of depth, symbolism and mystery.
Rated 24 Jun 2011
100
96th
Can I order some canted angles, with a side order of shadowy silhouettes? I mean, it's a perfect movie, and it's hard to offer any pithy insight into a perfect movie. I'll only note the wildly innovative cinematography and the wildly innovative score. Just when I thought that I knew what a typical 1949 film looked and sounded like, I see The Third Man.
Rated 22 Feb 2007
98
95th
An absolute masterpiece of light, shadow and fog.
Rated 01 Mar 2007
80
95th
Excellence.
Rated 11 Mar 2007
90
89th
orson welles chews the scenery onscreen almost as well as he chews ham off it
Rated 14 Aug 2007
3
62nd
nicely shot but that's it.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
95
89th
Yow! Orson is great and the chase scene in the sewer is second to none.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
100
99th
Unbeatable, endlessly analyzable, and likely one of the best films ever made. It also has my favorite scene of any film of all time--the Prater Wheel. And it has Orson Welles, what else do you need to know?
Rated 14 Aug 2007
100
98th
One of the most lavish, mysterious films of the last half century. Joseph Cotten, Trevor Howard & Alida Valli are all excellent but Orson Welles (as Harry Lime) steals the picture without blinking an eye. It's still very original & offbeat despite its classic status.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
84
42nd
Wasn't terrifically impressed, except by Welles.
Rated 08 Jul 2008
95
74th
master hitch.
Rated 26 Oct 2008
100
98th
Favorite black and white film ever.
Rated 24 Jan 2009
90
90th
A classic film noir that's beautiful and well-crafted.
Rated 06 Feb 2009
89
92nd
harry lime fits welles like a glove. wonderful film
Rated 08 May 2009
70
74th
Very very disappointed. I don't care about shadows. I hate Orson Welles and wasn't swayed by his performance here.
Rated 29 Jun 2009
94
95th
Wow, what an amazing looking film. My jaw dropped during some of the chase scenes. They were just so cool to look at. I'm not really sure how I feel about the story, but it kept me entertained.
Rated 06 Jul 2009
89
86th
Don't get me wrong, this is a good film. However, it left me feeling cold. The script is top notch, as is the cinematography, but with all the build up, there appears to be little payoff.
Rated 23 Oct 2009
8
94th
"The dead are happier dead. They don't miss much here, poor devils."
Rated 22 Mar 2010
95
85th
This is the one film I'd recommend to anyone who claims to hate black and white films. The camera work, the lighting, the snappy dialogue, the fact that it was written by Graham Green, and the performances from Cotton and Welles... It's a classic of British cinema!
Rated 28 May 2010
9
92nd
Shot so well especially the sewer scene. Great thriller and Welles is just spectacular.
Rated 26 Jun 2010
82
74th
All the good you'll read about this one is true, but the dark, suspenseful scenes were ill-served by bright, up-beat music.
Rated 29 Nov 2010
90
90th
Post-war Vienna provides a wonderful backdrop for this beautiful film noir. Cinematography is absolutely stunning and especially the night scenes are breathtaking. Although the story centers on the mystery of what happened to Harry Lime, at it's core it really is a story about the protagonists moral character (and maybe about the occupying forces' as well...). Anywho: It's simply not true that Switzerland has brought us nothing but the cuckoo clock; what about chocolate?
Rated 08 Apr 2011
90
86th
Joseph Cotten doesn't get enough love for his work here - Holly may be a bit of a beige character, but Cotten plays him well as a man who slowly comes to realise that he's not the great person he thinks he is and that his best friend's not the great philanthropist he thinks he is. Along with Cotten, Welles' scene-stealing performance is a foregone conclusion, Reed's cinematography is downright astounding, and Greene's script is sharp and well-plotted.
Rated 19 May 2011
96
96th
The third man looks like Hitchcock movie for me. Black and white Vienna is amazing and frightening at once as well as Wells. The story is solid and credible which is quite uncommon in thriller genre. The only thing I really do not understand is the score which is absolutely inappropriate for the mood and sequence development. Delightful experience for every suspense fan.
Rated 30 May 2011
70
19th
Maybe I missed something. Beautifully shot, but for the most part, it failed to engage me.
Rated 24 May 2012
80
88th
Not as 100 as I was led to believe it would be. Baron Kurtz is a new favorite of mine. "I tell you I've done things that would have seemed unthinkable before the war."
Rated 23 Feb 2013
95
96th
A captivating portrait of a very singular time and place. A twisting mystery plot that grabs your attention and doesn't let go. Welles steals the show here, once again demonstrating that few can play a fascinating jerk quite like he can.
Rated 20 Aug 2013
80
89th
A great classical movie that I'd been ignoring for far to long. Watching it in Vienna after strolling through town and observing how destructed these very places were sixty years ago held some extra value for me. The movie itself is a twisted cinematic masterpiece with a perfect international cast.
Rated 25 Nov 2013
75
72nd
Atmospheric, well-acted (especially by Welles) and shot in great style, "The Third Man" nevertheless comes as a minor disappointment to me. Although some sequences are indeed unforgettable (the talk atop the Wiener Riesenrad, the sewer killing, Anna's final snub), as a whole, the -pretty conventional- plot didn't fully engage me neither did the characters actually resonate. It remains a moody, well-written and beautifully photographed noir, it's just that I admire it more than I love it.
Rated 29 Jul 2016
75
59th
To say this was masterfully shot would be a gross understatement. Its damn near perfectly shot. Unfortunately, the film refuses to linger into a moral grey-area: All of the good guys do the good thing and all of the bad guys do the bad thing. Its a shame that the potency of the cinematography was diluted by safe and now dated writing.
Rated 10 Jun 2017
90
95th
Fascinating movie from start to finish. Very successful at almost every angle. Cinematography is top notch maybe one of the best. Joseph Cotton Orson Welles are geniusly good and the timing Welles appears is just great. I fucking loved this movie.
Rated 09 Jul 2017
88
96th
I know a movie is great when it's chock full of Dutch angles and they actually work. One of the best shot films I've seen. It's on location filming and incredible, original score create an atmosphere unlike any other movie I've seen. A true masterpiece.
Rated 13 Jul 2018
6
47th
Ready to strangle that zither player.
Rated 28 Dec 2018
87
87th
Why am I craving discontinued indigestion tablets? That can't be normal
Rated 24 Jun 2020
95
99th
While sharing many similarities with other well known noir films, the combination of Reed's direction, Karas' score and the performances of the leading trio (not to mention the fabulous supporting cast) gives this movie a distinctly different feel. It almost transcends the noir genre (if it is a genre). And all for the better. So many rewarding moments for the viewer; Welles' reveal, the boy with the ball outing Martins, Schmidt walking past Martins to end the film. The list goes on. A must see.
Rated 29 Aug 2020
91
93rd
What a fucking abomination of a score. Some melodramatic sax would've been way better, but the shadowplay and Dutch angles make me forget
Rated 12 Dec 2021
85
93rd
So, I need to watch a few Noir movies this year, because i have basically seen almost none. This movie raises the bar for the remaining three movies I need to watch to very great heights. It slaps very hard.
Rated 16 Jun 2022
70
80th
uzun süredir böyle bir görüntü yönetimi görmedim. adeta filmin boktan senaryosunun üstünü makyaj gibi örtmüş. film gene de overrated ama böylesi bir sinematografi çalışmasını kimse es geçemez.
Rated 18 Dec 2006
85
80th
I slept halfway through it, but only because I was very tired and the cinema was very warm and cozy. But I didn't miss the scenes with Orson Welles so that's ok.
Rated 25 Mar 2007
40
23rd
For some reason I am not at all thrilled by this movie
Rated 30 Mar 2007
100
94th
You're only given one life to live, its up to get as many as we can. The perfect noir of crime and embellishment.
Rated 17 Apr 2007
91
92nd
A ripping good yarn with excellent use of light, sound, and shadow. The scene that introduces Orson Welles' character is a definite highlight.
Rated 17 Apr 2007
98
98th
# 20
Rated 28 Jun 2007
100
98th
60 years later, this is still a brilliant film.
Rated 20 Jul 2007
90
99th
Fucking Vienna, man!
Rated 14 Aug 2007
29
96th
Simply put, Holly Martins is my favorite loser in cinema history.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
87
89th
Believe the hype!
Rated 14 Aug 2007
84
95th
A man gradually discovers that things aren't the way he thought they were. A much more subtle and interesting presentation of loyalty and betrayal, and authority and crime, than can be found in most genre films, past or since, getting better and better, and looking better and better, as it goes. In addition to Orson Welles and the other principals, special mention should also go to Wilfrid Hyde-White.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
92
92nd
This is one of those films that gets better every time you watch it. I particularly love the humor in the introduction to the film. I love how this movie portrays the world following such a major event as the Second World War with all the hardship and opportunity painted on the canvas of ravaged Vienna accentuated by stark black and white. I love how the plot develops as Holly pieces together the truth. It seems perfectly paced. A masterpiece!!!
Rated 14 Aug 2007
95
84th
ever wonder whether Orson Welles made a great film after Citizen Kane? Well, here's your proof.
Rated 21 Aug 2007
81
68th
Loved the Sewer-scene at the end of the film - one of the best runaway scenes i ever saw. Great movie all around, it was a bit slow halfway through but neglectable. The cinematography was amazing in this film, the beautiful visuals of Vienna surely helped though.
Rated 06 Oct 2007
85
85th
Great cinematography and film making in general.
Rated 17 Oct 2007
100
99th
Possibly my favorite movie of all time. While Welles's considerable (and impressive) presence looms large over the production, the story is much crisper and insightful than anything he did on his own. Carole Reed's direction, while obviously given over to Welles's input in parts, lends a taut arc to the overall production.
Rated 11 Nov 2007
96
99th
The best film ever made. I rate it only 96/100 because it would be foolish to imply that it's impossible that a slightly better film could one day be made. Just highly unlikely.
Rated 16 Nov 2007
75
81st
great film!

Cast & Info

Directed by:
Written by:
Starring:
Country:
Languages:

Collections

(170)
Compact view
Showing 1 - 24 of 170 results

Similar Titles

Loading ...

Statistics

Loading ...