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Customer Discussions > The Third Man forum

When was this crook in Vienna?

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Showing 1-6 of 6 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 18 Jun 2010, 16:14:27 BST
Last edited by the author on 4 Jul 2010, 10:22:49 BST
Paul says:
"The Third Man" is the title of a Novel and a film written by Graham Greene.

The third man in Greene's account is a seedy crook who lives in the sewers of Vienna and in the end murders people before being shot dead himself. You have to wonder why Mandelson has plagiarized this title and why the publisher let him.

In reply to an earlier post on 3 Jul 2010, 12:04:11 BST
Perhaps he's referring to Tony Blair, Gordon Brown and then himself... being the third man? Or is that too simple?

Posted on 12 Jul 2010, 18:08:32 BST
Mr. T. Sizer says:
he stole all the insulin!

Posted on 13 Jul 2010, 09:25:48 BST
Last edited by the author on 13 Jul 2010, 09:44:29 BST
Fi says:
From wordiQ.com, just out of interest! 'At the beginning of the film, Martins discovers that his old friend Harry Lime, who he had not seen in several years, has died under mysterious circumstances just prior to Martins' arrival in Vienna. He finds that there was more to Lime than he knew and that he was accused of being a black-market racketeer, trafficking in poor quality penicillin. Martins is told that Lime was struck by a truck while crossing a street. On several accounts, two of Lime's friends carried Lime's body off the street after the accident. All eyewitnesses to the accident happen to be friends or associates of Lime. Martins' investigation leads to another eyewitness not associated with Lime who claims that there was a third man who helped carry Lime's body. It is this "third man", Joseph Harbin, that the title of the film (which is essentially an elaborate MacGuffin) refers to. It is a common misconception that Harry Lime himself is the "third man".

Although it can be said that because Joseph Harbin was actually the one that was hit by the truck, and Harry Lime apparently helped carry Harbin away, perhaps it is not entirely unreasonable to refer to Harry as the "Third Man." '

I've looked into this a bit further, and found an interesting passage in an article by Ron Rosenblum in the New York Observer:

'Speaking of Vienna as wasteland, let's turn to The Wasteland , because I believe there is an important overlooked relationship between the film and the poem, between the portrait of spiritual devastation and fragmentation in the T.S. Eliot poem and the portrait of spiritual devastation in the fragmented Vienna of the Graham Greene film. And the link, its most obvious manifestation, anyway, can be found in the haunting title image, in the notion of the phantasmal "third man."

I haven't seen this pointed out elsewhere: Consider the strange seven-line passage in the fifth and final segment of Eliot's Wasteland :

Who is the third who walks always beside you?

When I count, there are only you and I together

But when I look ahead up the white road

There is always another one walking beside you

Gliding wrapt in a brown mantle, hooded

I do not know whether a man or a woman

-But who is that on the other side of you?

It's a spooky moment in a particularly spooky section of The Wasteland , a section that depicts a tormented pilgrimage through a desolate rock-strewn waste... A pilgrimage intended by Eliot to evoke the approach to "the Chapel Perilous" in the legend of the Holy Grail.

In his famous footnotes to The Wasteland (my favorite part of the poem), Eliot discloses that this haunting "Who was the third?" passage was "stimulated by the account of one of the Antarctic expeditions ... [in which] it was related that the party of explorers, at the extremity of their strength, had the constant delusion that there was one more member than could actually be counted." One more member: Who was the third?' (There's more, but I'm probably testing most people's limits of interest by now ;-)!)

Posted on 13 Jul 2010, 20:13:43 BST
Mr. T. Sizer says:
i mean he stole all the penicillin!
sounds like insulin a bit....
@fi: i was truly tested and just about made it to the end.

Posted on 14 Jul 2010, 13:50:43 BST
Please don't buy this book and put money into the coffers of this seedy, arrogant, dishonest, supercilious self publicist.
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Discussion in:  The Third Man forum
Participants:  5
Total posts:  6
Initial post:  18 Jun 2010
Latest post:  14 Jul 2010

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The Third Man
The Third Man by Peter Mandelson (Hardcover - 15 July 2010)
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