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Quotations from The Third Man

The Third Man is a mystery thriller film-noir film about a pulp Western writer who arrives in Post-WWII Vienna to offer his childhood friend, Harry Lime, a job. However, the writer discovers that his friend was killed in a car accident. However, while attending the funeral, the writer discovers that two of his friends were told to take care of Lime's girlfriend. While talking to the girlfriend, she says she doesn't believe it was an accident but that it was murder. After some more unusual circumstances (like finding out that three men carried the body not two--hence the title), the writer has no choice but to be involved in an investigation of his friend's death. Directed by Carol Reed. Starring Joseph Cotten, Orson Welles, Alida Valli, and Trevor Howard.

The Third Man won the Oscar award for Best Cinematography but was also nominated for Best Director and Best Film Editing. Today, the film is most well-known for its unique musical score, the acting, and the atmospheric cinematography. The movie is seen as one of the greatest films of all time. Continue reading for some quotes from The Third Man.


Popescue: That's a nice girl, that. But she ought to go careful in Vienna. Everybody ought to go careful in a city like this.
Martins: Listen, Callahan!
Calloway: Calloway. I'm English, not Irish.
Martins: I guess nobody really knew Harry like he did... like I did.
Calloway: How long ago?
Martins: Back in school. I was never so lonesome in my life until he showed up.
Calloway: When did you see him last?
Martins: September, '39.
Calloway: When the business started?
Martins: Um, hmm.
Calloway: See much of him before that?
Martins: Once in a while. Best friend I ever had.
Calloway: That sounds like a cheap novelette.
Martins: Well, I write cheap novelettes.
Harry Lime: Don't be so gloomy. After all it's not that awful. Like the fella says, in Italy for 30 years under the Borgias they had warfare, terror, murder, and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and the Renaissance. In Switzerland they had brotherly love - they had 500 years of democracy and peace, and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock. So long Holly.
Porter: He is now...
[points up]
Porter: in hell, or...
[points down]
Porter: in heaven...
Calloway: Go home Martins, like a sensible chap. You don't know what you're mixing in, get the next plane.
Martins: As soon as I get to the bottom of this, I'll get the next plane.
Calloway: Death's at the bottom of everything, Martins. Leave death to the professionals.
Martins: Mind if I use that line in my next Western?
British MP: I'm sorry, Miss, it's orders. We can't go against the protocol. Anna Schmidt: I don't even know what protocol means.
British MP: Neither do I, Miss.
Harry Lime: What did you want me to do? Be reasonable. You didn't expect me to give myself up... 'It's a far, far better thing that I do.' The old limelight. The fall of the curtain. Oh, Holly, you and I aren't heroes. The world doesn't make any heroes outside of your stories.
Martins: I'd make comic faces... and stand on my head and grin at you between my legs... and tell all sorts of jokes. I wouldn't stand a chance, would I?
Harry Lime: 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 God.
Harry Lime: Oh, I still do believe in God, old man. I believe in God and Mercy and all that. But the dead are happier dead. They don't miss much here, poor devils.
Next: The Treasure of the Sierra Madre
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