The Third Man (1949)

Third Man

This week on Alcohollywood, we grab our zithers and wander back to post-WWII Vienna for Carol Reed’s noir classic The Third Man! Starring Joseph Cotten and Orson Welles, the film follows writer Holly Martins (Cotten) who works to unravel the mystery behind the assumed death of his friend Harry Lime (Welles), finding romance, mystery and intrigue along the way. The film’s cinematography is second to none, and Anton Karas’ inimitable zither score has become one of the most recognizable pieces of music in cinema history; Welles, Cotten and the rest of the cast are equally superb. If you haven’t seen it, the film is well worth a watch. When you do, be sure to listen to our review and try out our custom cocktail and drinking rules!


THIS EPISODE’S DRINK: Holly Would End Lime

Third Man cocktail1 part Dutch akvavit
2 parts genevar
1 part Heering cherry liqueur
1 part lime juice
6 parts soda water

Combine and stir.




  1. Whenever you see Dutch angles
  2. Whenever Anton Karas’ zither starts back up again
  3. Every time a character starts speaking German


Holly Martin says, “One can’t just… leave.”

Join us next week as we delve into the mysteries of the David Fincher thriller The Game!

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About Alcohollywood Staff

The film staff of the film website/podcast Alcohollywood.

2 thoughts on “The Third Man (1949)

  1. I know it was just a mention, but to clear things up: the first full length color film was made in 1922. Doing a film in color was extremely costly and time consuming up until after World War II, so some movies merely had segments that were in color, while full color movies were deigned to be big budget prestige pictures (Gone With the Wind, Wizard of Oz, etc). This changed in the late 40’s/early 50’s when television starting becoming a threat. Since televisions were only in black in white, color movies were cranked out as a reason to give people to go to the movie theater. However, up until their widespread extinction in the late 60’s, black and white movies continued to be made because it was often regarded that black and white movies were more ‘sophisticated’ than color ones– this explains why Billy Wilder got away with making The Apartment without an ounce of color in 1960. However, once color televisions were adopted and became widespread by the late 60’s, black and white movies went extinct, only to return in rare low budget/high prestige instances.

    The more you know…. 😀

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