»The Third Man« - »Der Dritte Man« (1949)
All research on The Third Man (1949) has been undertaken by Dr Timmerman of Vienna. Dr Timmerman has published a large reference book on The Third Man in English and German. The book is available for purchase on the website:
The Third Man as a film is interwoven with the history of Vienna in the immediate post-war years and reaches back to the Austrian Civil War in the Thirties. Volumes could be devoted to the subject. In the Fifties Vienna was the to the Cold War what Berlin was to become in the Sixties.
Welles went missing during the shooting of The Third Man (1949) and one of the crew was sent to hunt him down. He had got as far as his favorite hôtel in Paris, the Hôtel Lancaster on the Rue de Berri , in Paris popular with high-rollers like Welles and Marlene Dietrich. Welles had a penthouse on the upper floors at the Lancaster. Also staying at the same time was Noël Coward which made for lively entertainment.
Graham Greene was dispatched to Vienna to write the screenplay. The use of the tunnels almost certainly arose as a result of him listening to stories told by Kim Philby of communist fighters in Vienna during the Austria Civil War being evacuated through the tunnels during fighting around the Karl Marx Hof .
Map of post-war partitioned Austria. This map was taken from Journey to Vienna by Mrs Robert Henry 1946 over which I added the colored markings.
The Soviet Zone had two points of entry. One from the British Zone (marked in purple) and one from the American Zone (marked in Blue). The entry from the British Zone was on the Semmering Pass which carried road and rail links from below the Alps to Vienna. The entry from the American Zone into the Soviet Zone was the Enns Bridge. British and American Troops would be rotated in and out by special train called the MEDLOC . The entry from the American Zone was the road bridge over the River Enns at Linz. Vienna, like Berlin, was also partitioned. Unlike Berlin, there was a central »neutral« zone which was patrolled by all 4 powers. In the first months after the war, chaos reigned and movements were possible in all directions. As each year passed, Soviet control of the borders became tighter and the entry and exit points from the Zone acquired a much larger significance. Areas of Austria bordering Yugoslavia were infested with 'Die Messerstecher' - 'the knifers', bandits from the Balkans intent on robbery and theft.
- The crew arrived in late 1947 to freezing Vienna devoid of supplies and controlled by the military police of the four powers who were less than cooperative. With no Welles, Carol Reid set to filming everything which did not involve Welles, then used a stand-in for all of Welles long shots or shots which did not involve Welles looking directly at the camera. The shots of Welles running away are his stand-in. Welles arrived in November 1947 for one week of filming. The fingers you see poking through the grating in the final chase scene are Carol Reids and the grating is almost certainly at Shepperton Studios. Welles refused to shoot in the sewers exclaiming
"I can't go down there ! I'm from California!"
- Guy Hamilton (subsequently an important director in his own right) stated to Simon Callow that the conditions in Vienna were difficult and the military police uncooperative. Carol Reid organised three camera crews so that they could shoot around the clock, using Benzedrine (amphetamines) to keep them awake. Welles went out drinking with his old pal Joseph Cotton and inevitably they found trouble. A four-power military police patrol were called to a bar where Welles was 'being loud'. Welles inflamed the situation by berating and insulting the policemen. The Soviet officer did not understand Welles's American English slang insults. The officer humorlessly kept his hand on his pistol holster. Welles was taken to the central police station, which to his great good fortune was controlled by the US Army. Welles was received as a celebrity and was wined and dined by the officers. These clashes between hard-drinking actors and authority seemd to punctuate the making of the film. Charles Drazin reports that Trevor Howard, who played Calloway was out boozing one night while still in his Colonel's uniform. Inevitably the four-power police were called to some kind of argument but had to defer to Howard's apparent rank. Unless you were steaming drunk, these run-ins with authority in lawless places like 1946 Vienna were terrifying.
Hôtel Astoria, Vienna
The Reisenrad, Prater Wheel, Vienna
These are modern aluminum replacments for the steel access hatches you see in the film.
1898 Wienflussregulierung - The Wien river being covered
- 'Gasse' means 'Lane'.
This location was also used in the Cold-War spy thriller Scorpio (1973) to stage the arrival of Burt Lancaster in Vienna.
Harry Lime runs from the Schreyvogelgasse into the next scene at the Amhof, where he disappears. Later in the movie we discover that he disappeared down the access shaft into the tunnels. The head of the access shafts are covered in a small steel cabin, finished in a pleasantly ornate style. In the movie Harry disappears down one in the Amhof, fooling Joseph Cotton. However, there is no access shaft in the Amhof, or was there ever. Carol Reid had one constructed there because the Amhof offers the largest area into which Harry can disappear, creating the greatest ambiguity and confusion. You can get underground in the Amhof because an underground parking lot has been constructed in the Nineties and is accessed by a small elevator close to the entrance of the Amhof. The Unruh website makes intensive investigation and begins to draw the correct conclusion: There never was an access shaft in the Amhof. Dr Timmerman confirms this. At the beginning of my own investigations I thought that the access shaft had been destroyed and one of the three most important locations in motion pictures had been destroyed. It was the second worst day in location hunting history and I was inconsolable. I could not believe that any person would have ordered its destruction. Relief only gradually came as I slowly worked out the fact: Carol Reid had had this prop constructed. Dr Timmerman's research confirmed this.
The Vienna Riesenrad was made iconic by its appearance in The Third Man. It appears again in Scorpio (1973).
»Free of income tax...Old Man«
In 1946, £20,000 in England would have bought two, large well-appointed residences in their own grounds. In fact in 1946 it might have bought more because there was so little money and so little business to be done at that time.
- Orson Welles, who penned these lines for the script of The Third Man (1949), probably quoting Mussolini. Welles has stated in several interviews that he wrote a great part of Harry Lime's dialogue, including the Cuckoo Clock speech. Simon Callow has more detail on this.
The panoramic photograph of the Vienna skyline which is applied to the wall of the Reisenrad cabin above the windows.Photograph circa early 1990s. There is a a much higher resolution image available at Picasa
The view from the tunnel out into the open canal.
This is the in-fall which was used as a location in the movie.
One of the steel access cabins which cap the access shafts to the tunnel.
The backprojection shown as Calloway leaves the Zentralfriedhof in an automobile shows a cemetery but not the Zentralfriedhof. You can see a Celtic cross gravestone disappearing past the window. Dr Timmerman observed this and surmised it was a cemetery in Hammersmith . However, investigation by myself revealed it was Brompton cemetery. You can see tall town houses on the border of the cemetery at the start of the back projection.
The Grave of Harry Lime
Harry's grave is the footpath to the right of the grave and the left of the obelisk.
Harry's second burial has a poignancy and is a moment when a watershed is crossed, not just within the film, but within the Twentieth Century. What was before was gone. What came after would be new. Distant from the past. God's Speed Harry.
Welles himself was buried in Spain at Ronda, his ashes interred in the wall of a well in the gardens of his friend the Bullfighter Antonio Ordóñez Araujo
Vienna Zentralfriedhof. The grave of Harry Lime is not far from the entrance (center front), to the left. The weekend is very busy with many people visiting graves of their relatives and friends, with something of a party atmosphere.
Guidebook to the Zentralfriedhof . Many prominente individuals are buried there and their are many ornate monuments.
The Lives of Harry Lime (1952)
After The Third Man was released, Orson Welles published a book of short stories about Harry Lime's pre-war exploits. It is rare and expensive to obtain. The book spun-off a long series of short stories for Radio narrated by Welles and featuring Harry's adventures before the war. The stories feature Lime in similar adventures to the one he found himself in Vienna and are always set in exotic and distant foreign locations made all the more interesting by their post-War obscurity: The freeport in Tangiers and Port Aden, for instance. Many of these places would have been familiar to Welles himself.
Table of Contents of The Lives of Harry Lime by Orson Welles and Others.
The Lives of Harry Lime - Radio Broadcasts
Below is a list of The Lives of Harry Lime radio broadcasts.
Harry Lime - The Third Man 1951-08-03 Episode 01 »Too Many Crooks«
Harry Lime - The Third Man 1951-08-10 Episode 02 »See Naples And Live«
Harry Lime - The Third Man 1951-08-17 Episode 03 »Clay Pidgeon«
Harry Lime - The Third Man 1951-08-24 Episode 04 »Ticket To Tangier«
Harry Lime - The Third Man 1951-08-31 Episode 05 »Voodoo«
Harry Lime - The Third Man 1951-09-07 Episode 06 »Bohemian Star«
Harry Lime - The Third Man 1951-09-14 Episode 07 »Love Affair«
Harry Lime - The Third Man 1951-09-21 Episode 08 »Rouges Holiday«
Harry Lime - The Third Man 1951-09-28 Episode 09 »Work Of Art«
Harry Lime - The Third Man 1951-10-05 Episode 10 »Operation Music Box«
Harry Lime - The Third Man 1951-10-12 Episode 11 »Golden Fleece«
Harry Lime - The Third Man 1951-10-19 Episode 12 »Blue Bride«
Harry Lime - The Third Man 1951-10-26 Episode 13 »Every Frame Has A Silver Lining«
Harry Lime - The Third Man 1951-11-02 Episode 14 »Mexican Hat Trick«
Harry Lime - The Third Man 1951-11-09 Episode 15 »Art Is Long And Lime Is Fleeting«
Harry Lime - The Third Man 1951-11-16 Episode 16 »In Pursuit Of A Ghost«
Harry Lime - The Third Man 1951-11-23 Episode 17 »Horseplay«
Harry Lime - The Third Man 1951-11-30 Episode 18 »Three Farthings ForYour Thoughts«
Harry Lime - The Third Man 1951-12-07 Episode 19 »The Third Woman«
Harry Lime - The Third Man 1951-12-14 Episode 20 »An Old Moorish Custom«
Harry Lime - The Third Man 1951-12-21 Episode 21 »Its A Knockout«
Harry Lime - The Third Man 1951-12-28 Episode 22 »Two Is Company«
Harry Lime - The Third Man 1952-01-04 Episode 23 »Cherchez La Gem«
Harry Lime - The Third Man 1952-01-11 Episode 24 »Hand Of Glory«
Harry Lime - The Third Man 1952-01-18 Episode 25 »Double Double Cross«
Harry Lime - The Third Man 1952-01-25 Episode 26 »5000 Pengoes And A Kiss«
Harry Lime - The Third Man 1952-02-01 Episode 27 »Dark Enchantress«
Harry Lime - The Third Man 1952-02-08 Episode 28 »Earl On Troubled Waters«
Harry Lime - The Third Man 1952-02-15 Episode 29 »Dead Candidate«
Harry Lime - The Third Man 1952-02-22 Episode 30 »Its In The Bag«
Harry Lime - The Third Man 1952-02-29 Episode 31 »Hyacinth Patrol«
Harry Lime - The Third Man 1952-03-07 Episode 32 »Turnabout Is Foul Play«
Harry Lime - The Third Man 1952-03-14 Episode 33 »Violets Sweet Violets«
Harry Lime - The Third Man 1952-03-21 Episode 34 »Faith Lime And Charity«
Harry Lime - The Third Man 1952-03-28 Episode 35 »Pleasure Before Business«
Harry Lime - The Third Man 1952-04-04 Episode 36 »Fools Gold«
Harry Lime - The Third Man 1952-04-11 Episode 37 »Man Of Mystery«
Harry Lime - The Third Man 1952-04-18 Episode 38 »The Painted Smile«
Harry Lime - The Third Man 1952-04-25 Episode 39 »Harry Joins The Circus«
Harry Lime - The Third Man 1952-05-02 Episode 40 »Suzies Cue«
Harry Lime - The Third Man 1952-05-09 Episode 41 »Vive La Chance«
Harry Lime - The Third Man 1952-05-16 Episode 42 »Elusive Vermeer«
Harry Lime - The Third Man 1952-05-23 Episode 43 »Murder On The Riveria«
Harry Lime - The Third Man 1952-05-30 Episode 44 »Pearls Of Bohemia«
Harry Lime - The Third Man 1952-06-06 Episode 45 »A Night In A Harem «
Harry Lime - The Third Man 1952-06-13 Episode 46 »Blackmail Is A Nasty Word«
Harry Lime - The Third Man 1952-06-20 Episode 47 »The Professor Regrets«
Harry Lime - The Third Man 1952-06-27 Episode 48 »The Hard Way«
Harry Lime - The Third Man 1952-07-04 Episode 49 »Paris Is Not The Same«
Harry Lime - The Third Man 1952-07-11 Episode 50 »Honeymoon«
Harry Lime - The Third Man 1952-07-18 Episode 51 »Blue Caribou«
Harry Lime - The Third Man 1952-07-25 Episode 52 »Greek Meets Greek«
.MP3 format recordings sometimes appear on the USENET binaries newsgroup alt.binaries.radio.oldtime and related groups.
You can search USENET at www.binsearch.info
+ SEE ALSO
- Scorpio (1973)
- 1943: Benito Mussolini and Otto Skorzeny in Vienna
- 1944: Adolf Eichmann in Vienna
- 1945: Otto Skorzeny in Vienna
- Wien - Vienna
- Enns Bridge ; The entrance to the Soviet Zone at Linz, on the Danube, Austria.
- The Third Man by Dr Timmerman www.thethirdman.net - In German and English. The primary reference work on the subject.
- In Search of the Third Man by Charles Drazin published by Methuen 1999 ISBN 0-413-73930-9
- Journey to Vienna by Mrs Robert Henry 1946
- Commanding the Red Army's Sherman Tanks by Dimitri Loza
- The Lives of Harry Lime by Orson Welles
- Simon Callow's superb multi-volume biography of Welles
- John Glen's autobiography.
+ EXTERNAL LINKS
- The Third Man locations - Many of the locations may be viewed here.
- The making of the The Third Man
- Movie Tourist Blogspot - The Third Man (1949)
- Script of The Third Man
- Complete Recordings of The Lives of Harry Lime Radio Broadcasts
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