Who was the third man? What is this film about? When was it produced and why was it less popular with Austrians at the time?
On March 10, 1950, the Austrian premiere of the Carol Reed film “The Third Man” took place at the Apollo Cinema in Vienna. Among the Viennese, the film was not so popular at first, because no one wanted to see the destroyed Vienna.
In 1948, the English novelist Graham Greene had been sent to Vienna by a London production company with the assignment to write an exciting screenplay about the destroyed and quadruple-occupied Vienna.
The city is a testimony of destroyed houses and is administered by the four Allied victorious powers.
Vienna is the playground of the Cold War and espionage. The black market is flourishing.
Green investigated closely, and did so at the Central Cemetery, in disreputable nightclubs, and even descends into Vienna’s canal system with a British officer . It made a crime story starring Orson Welles as penicillin push Harry Lime. Joseph Cotton and Alida Valli can be found in other roles and also became famous from this hit movie.
The Sievering zither player Anton Karas also became internationally known through the film music. His haunting zither music became catchy.
Famous filming locations were at the Vienna Central Cemetery, in the Vienna sewers, where Orson Welles refused to go down. Parts of the film were also shot at the London Film Studio.
The Josefsplatz with the Palais Pallavicini, the Litfaßsäule at the square Am Hof, as well as the Mölker Bastei are further film locations. The chase scenes on the Ferris wheel also created excitement and international awareness of Vienna.
Time Travel Tip:
Even today, visitors to Vienna can follow in the footsteps of Harry Limes , for example on a 3rd Man tour through the sewers, in the Ferris wheel or in the Third Man Museum . By the way, the black-and-white film has been running in its original version at the Burg Cinema for many years.