[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/untitl_(2).jpg]]
->''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.''

1949 British FilmNoir set in post-war Vienna starring Joseph Cotten, Alida Vali, TrevorHoward, and OrsonWelles.

Down-on-his-luck American writer Holly Martins (Cotten) arrives in postwar Vienna to meet with an old friend, Harry Lime (Welles), who has offered him a job. Unfortunately, the day Martins arrives, he finds out that Lime is dead.

Martins becomes entangled in a web of stories that make his pulp {{Western}}s seem quaint in comparison. Investigating the death of his friend in order to clear his name from the selling of stolen and diluted penicillin he meets Lime's former love interest, a seemingly crooked cop, and a porter who has seen far too much. Martin's quest to clear the name of his friend drags him into dangerous territory and challenges his [[BlackAndWhiteMorality preconceived notions of good and evil]].

The story takes many of the tropes commonly associated with FilmNoir and plays with them. The film is also notorious for Orson Welles stealing the show in the final act, and for its hypnotic music score by zitherist Anton Karas (whose title theme became a huge hit).

Led to the RadioDrama series ''Radio/TheLivesOfHarryLime''.

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!!This film provides examples of:

* AbsurdlySpaciousSewer: Justified. Vienna's real spacious sewers were used in the film.
* AccidentalMisnaming:
** Martins keeps addressing Calloway as "Callahan".
---> It's Calloway! I'm English, not Irish.
** At one point Anna accidentally addresses Holly as "Harry."
* AdaptationDistillation: Graham Greene preferred the film's ending to that of his own novel.
* AffablyEvil: [[spoiler: Harry Lime.]] [[ThisIsYourPremiseOnDrugs On speed]].
* AllGirlsWantBadBoys: Anna gets the same lecture on how evil Harry is as Martins, but that doesn't make her any less worshipful of him. Her justification: "A person doesn't change just because you learn more about them." Apparently, Anna doesn't do FridgeLogic. Harry was ''always'' a sociopath. Though the reason she loves him, forging her papers and thus letting her stay in Vienna longer, stands regardless of what else Harry did.
* AmusementPark: Lime gives the "cuckoo clock" speech inside the Ferris wheel at the city's Wurstelprater park.
* BeleagueredChildhoodFriend: The whole plot is essentially built around this relationship between Holly and Lime - except that Lime is [[spoiler: believed to be]] already dead.
* BigBadFriend: Harry Lime.
* BilingualBonus: Sprechen Sie Deutsch?
* BittersweetEnding: And how!
* BookDumb: Not knowing who or what James Joyce was, and not being informed of what literary components he uses in his cheap novelettes, Martins is literally [[IncrediblyLamePun book]] dumb.
* BookEnds: The movie starts and ends with a funeral. [[spoiler: Both funerals are for the same character, Harry Lime]]
* BreakingSpeech: Lime gives a tremendously powerful one on [[SignatureScene the Ferris Wheel]].
-->'''[[OrsonWelles Lime]]''': Victims? Don't be melodramatic. Look down there. Tell me. Would you really feel any pity if one of those dots stopped moving forever? If I offered you twenty thousand pounds for every dot that stopped, would you really, old man, tell me to keep my money, or [[PragmaticVillainy would you calculate how many dots you could afford to spare]]? Free of income tax, old man. Free of income tax - the only way you can save money nowadays.
* BrokenRecord:
** [[StopOrIWillShoot Halt! Stehenbleiben, oder ich schieß! Halt! Stehenbleiben, oder ich schieß! Halt! Stehenbleiben, oder ich schieß!]]
** Also the 5-year old boy, always with the same sing-song intonation: "Mörder! Mörder! Mörder!"
* ChekhovMIA
* [[ComingOfAgeStory Delayed Coming Of Age Story:]] [[ManChild Holly has remained mentally a child his entire life,]] his books are [[{{Escapism}} cowboys tales]] with a BlackAndWhiteMorality and only in Viena, at his 35 years, [[HeelRealization he at last will have to face reality]] [[{{Mooks}} of his relationship with]] [[BigBadFriend his best friend Harry]].
* CoversAlwaysLie
* {{Deconstruction}}: Half the point of the movie is to question, dissect and generally shred American notions of heroism.
* DidNotGetTheGirl: This scene was done so effectively that it's been given a ShoutOut in several later movies, including Creator/MartinScorsese's ''Film/TheDeparted'', Creator/RobertAltman's ''Film/TheLongGoodbye'', and Creator/TheCoenBrothers' ''Film/MillersCrossing''.
* DirtyCommunists: A light example but Anna faces deportation from the Russians for being from Czechoslovakia. [[spoiler:Lime also mentions he does some work for the Soviets, in return for them turning a blind eye to his activities.]]
* DutchAngle: Possibly the best use ever in film.
* EmergingFromTheShadows: Lime. Given the masterful use of shadows as one of his leitmotifs in the film, it may also serve as an accidental [[TheShadow actor alluson]].
* FakeShemp: OrsonWelles dithered on showing up to Vienna for filming, arriving two weeks after shooting started. To shoot around this, others dressed in Welles' costume (appropriately padded to approximate Welles' emerging girth) for long shots.
* FakingTheDead: Three guesses.
* FilmNoir
* ForgottenThemeTuneLyrics
* FreezeFrameBonus: At one point in the Vienna sewer chase, a painted "O5" can be seen briefly on a wall. This was the sign of an [[LaResistance anti-Nazi resistance]] group in Austria during WorldWarTwo. Most likely, that was not put there by the filmmakers.
* GoryDiscretionShot: We don't get to see [[spoiler: [[NothingIsScarier the corpses of the porter or Harbin, or any of Harry Lime's victims in the children's hospital]]. Somehow, the shot of the stuffed animals and tiny bookshelf crammed in next to one of dozens of identical hospital beds - the only glimmer of the dying child's individuality, of their true being - is worse.]]
* GrammarNazi: See ItsPronouncedTropay.
* HannibalLecture: Possibly the greatest in all of film history.
* HappilyEverBefore:
** Inverted in an odd way- Graham Greene's novel, written at the same time as the screenplay, has a moderately happy ending
** A double inversion, actually. Producer David O. Selznick, who was known for happy Hollywood-style endings, insisted upon the bleak DidNotGetTheGirl finale, even though screenwriter Greene, whose writing style was known for being [[CrapsackWorld incredibly depressing]], originally intended to have the movie end with Anna embracing Holly after the funeral.
* HowTheMightyHaveFallen: Baron Kurtz now works as a blackmarketeer in post-war Vienna.
* HumiliationConga: Happens to the hero. Did we mention this is a FilmNoir?
* IdiotBall: Holly Martins never met an idiot ball he didn't like. Unfortunately, he's usually not the one who pays for it.
* InsertCameo
* {{It Is Pronounced Tro-PAY}}: : Dr. '''Winkel''', not Winkle.
--> '''Martins:''' (...) Is it possible... that his death was not just an accident,... Dr. Winkle?
--> '''Dr. Winkel:''' ...*{{Beat}}*... '''''V'''''inkel. I cannot judge it, I wasn't there.
* KubrickStare: Used by Baron Kurtz (albeit in a non-threatening context), making this trope OlderThanTheyThink.
* LackOfEmpathy: Harry doesn't show any sign of remorse for the victims of his fake penicillin.
* LateToTheTragedy
* ManipulativeBastard: Lime constantly uses people (notably Anna and Martins) and will throw them away without a thought when they are no longer of use to him.
* MercyKill: [[spoiler:Lime wordlessly asks Martins to shoot him once it's clear there's no escape.]]
* MistakenForSpecialGuest: Martins is believed to be a more famous author by the character Crabbin. This is more developed in the novel, in which the rather macho Martins writes under a pseudonym who shares a surname with a famous novelist known for a "feminine" writing style (according to WordOfGod, the famous novelist was a NoCelebritiesWereHarmed version of the very gay E.M. Forster)
* MostWritersAreWriters: Martins is an American pulp Western writer.
* NotMyDriver: Subverted. Holly thinks his cabby is abducting him, and is working for the conspiracy, but the guy's really just driving him to the lecture he was scheduled to do and doesn't speak English.
* NotSoDifferent: "If I offered you $20,000 for every one of those dots that stopped moving, would you really tell me to keep my money, or would you start calculating how many dots you could afford to spare?"
* OpeningNarration: Done in the original UK release by director Carol Reed, and in the US version by Joseph Cotten.
* POVSequel: The screenwriter (author Graham Greene) wrote a book that was published to coincide with the film release with the British officer's POV. There was also a radio serial with Lime's exploits entitled ''The Adventures of Harry Lime''.
* PuttingOnTheReich: Many modern viewers may have noticed that the Vienna policemen's uniforms are original [[NaziGermany Third Reich]] police and army uniforms with merely the swastikas removed. It's TruthInTelevision; the film was made in 1949, and the police and armies had not yet been issued any updated uniforms so early after the war (not even for the filming). These uniforms would remain until well into the 50s.
* PyrrhicVictory: [[spoiler:Lime dies, Sgt. Paine dies, Martins DidNotGetTheGirl, and said girl will most probably be deported back to Czechoslovakia to face Soviet law. Furthermore, the children who suffer from Lime's diluted penicillin will not get saved by Lime getting neutralized either. But hey, at least future patients will be save from Lime's diluted medicines, and this counts as well!]]
* RealityHasNoSubtitles: It is famously used in order to emphasize how totally out of his area the American main character is when he visits Vienna.
* RealitySubtext: Graham Greene used to work for British Intelligence in WW2, where his boss and friend was the DoubleAgent Kim Philby. It's been speculated that Lime (a charismatic yet amoral friend secretly working for Soviet Intelligence) reflected underlying suspicions Graham had of Philby. In a particular irony, after Guy Burgess and Donald Maclean fled to Moscow to escape arrest, Philby fell under suspicion of being "the third man" in their spy ring.
* SceneryPorn / SceneryGorn: The production put a genuine and bombed-out Vienna to good use. About the only scenes outside of interior shots not shot actually on location were some of the shots set the scenes in the Vienna sewers (much of the sequence were actually filmed in Vienna's sewers [the Wienkanal storm-runoff system, to be precise], with the sewer cops being genuine off-duty Vienna sewer patrol officers -- some shots were recreations due to OrsonWelles being two weeks late for shooting -- thereby missing the bulk of the chase sequence filming -- and his unwillingness to go down into the sewers himself.)
* SissyVillain: Lime's associate Kurtz certainly has his share of signifiers.
* SlidingScaleOfIdealismVersusCynicism: Very much on the cynical side.
* SmallRoleBigImpact: Lime is on screen for very little time, but there would be no story without him.
* SoundtrackDissonance: Anton Karas's bouncing melodies, happy harmonies and general bright zither playing over the one of the bleakest, most cynical films ever made.
* SpiritualAntithesis: The cynical, post-war antidote to the optimism and hope of ''Film/{{Casablanca}}''. It contains many of the same story elements and inverts them.
* SpiritualSuccessor / {{Spinoff}}: Welles later adapted three scripts he wrote for ''The Adventures of Harry Lime'' into the movie ''Mr. Arkadin''.
* TooDumbToLive: Holly Martins, which is part of the point of the movie [[spoiler:even though he survives]].
* WeCanRuleTogether
* WhatCouldHaveBeen: CaryGrant was the first actor considered to play Lime. For reasons unknown, he was passed over (apparently, though, he was still a frequent visitor to the London studio shooting sessions) in favor of OrsonWelles over DavidOSelznick's strident objections. Similarly, JamesStewart was first considered to play Holly Martins -- here Selznick won, as he demanded JosephCotten, who was under contract to Selznik at the time.
* WhatIsEvil: The famous cuckoo clock speech.
* WideEyedIdealist: Holly Martins. At first.
* WolverinePublicity: OrsonWelles.
* WorldHalfEmpty
** Justified considering the place and the year.
** Or arguably EarnYourHappyEnding because of the place and year.
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