The 10 Best Films of the 1940s
3. The Third Man (1949)
The shadows and moral murk of postwar Vienna echo the Graham Greene screenplay’s themes about notorious black-marketeer Harry Lime (Orson Welles) and the search for his killer led by his jaded friend Holly Martens (Joseph Cotten). Harry’s ferris-wheel speech about the decadent but brilliant Borgias and the organized but boring Swiss, the chase scene in the sewers and the quietly devastating ending are superlative moments in this complex, troubling noir.