Approved | | Film-Noir, Mystery, Thriller
Pulp novelist Holly Martins travels to shadowy, postwar Vienna, only to find himself investigating the mysterious death of an old friend, Harry Lime.
The frequent use by director Carol Reed of Dutch angles to portray uneasiness and tension in the characters earned him a gift from his crew at the end of filming: a spirit level.
Nobody thinks in terms of human beings. Governments don't. Why should we? They talk about the people and the proletariat, I talk about the suckers and the mugs - it's the same thing. They have their five-year plans, so have I.
Martins: You used to believe in...
As Martins arrives at the funeral, he asks Maj. Calloway who the funeral is for. A black tombstone is seen behind Martins. When he walks towards the grave and stands by Anna, the same tombstone is seen behind her. This occurred because both of those scenes were not filmed on location in Vienna, but later at Shepperton Studios, which only had very few fake tombstones available.
Opening credits prologue: V I E N N A
English, German, Russian
$13,576 (USA) (7 May 1999)
$449,191 (USA) (20 November 2015)
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