The Third Man is a 1949 British film noir, directed by Carol Reed and written by Graham Greene. It stars Joseph Cotten, Alida Valli, Orson Welles, and Trevor Howard. Set in post-war Vienna, the film focuses on Holly Martins, an American who is given a job by his friend Harry Lime, but when he arrives the man is dead. He then meets with Lime's acquaintances in an attempt to investigate his suspicious death.
The atmospheric use of black-and-white expressionist cinematography by Robert Krasker, with harsh lighting and distorted "Dutch angle" camera angles, is a key feature of The Third Man. Combined with the unique theme music, seedy locations and acclaimed performances from the cast, the style evokes the atmosphere of an exhausted, cynical, post-war Vienna at the start of the Cold War.
Greene published the novella of the same name which he originally wrote as preparation for the screenplay. Anton Karas wrote and performed the score, which used only the zither; its title music "The Third Man Theme" topped the international music charts in 1950, bringing the previously unknown performer international fame. It is considered one of the greatest films of all time, celebrated for its acting, musical score and atmospheric cinematography.