Release Date – 2 Sept 1949 (UK)

Rating – 96 / 100

Director – Sir Carol Reed

Comments – Post-war Vienna where literary American surprised to meet East-European femme fatale and discover best friend dead. Is it a cover-up? What was his brilliant friend up to?

High points – Orson Welles as Harry Lime, ferris wheel sequence. Final scene.

Low point – Drawn-out chase of Harry Lime at the end.

Length – 108 minutes.

Key quote

Martins: Have you ever seen any of your victims?
Harry Lime: You know, I never feel comfortable on these sort of things. 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 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.

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.

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