Imagine you are walking through the narrow streets of Vienna's city centre and suddenly you hear the unmistakable zither melody of Anton Karas in a backyard, giving you the feeling that you have landed in an old black and white crime thriller. It is precisely this zither music, Orson Welles as Harry Lime and the chase through the Viennese underworld that characterize the classic film "The Third Man". The plot is a piece of contemporary history about life in the ruins of bombed-out post-war Vienna. Lars von Lennep, production fixer Vienna, has all the details for a great TV story in 2024

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Do you remember Carol Reeds' film noir movie "The Third Man", set in Vienna/Austria in the year 1948? Still today, the story has its charme and so has the Austrian capital Vienna. I'm an experienced local film and TV production fixer and will be more than happy, assisting foreign camera crews when searching on the traces of this famous classic movie.

The film takes place just three years after Ithe Second World War has been over. The city of the waltz is divided into four occupation sectors by the British, French, Americans and Soviets. The first district is administered alternately by one of the four occupying powers each month. Numerous bombing raids reduced the Danube metropolis to rubble and ashes. There is hunger, misery and a lack of housing. The supply situation for the population is catastrophic. There is a lack of everything. Many Viennese travel to the countryside to exchange jewlery and silverware for food from farmers. Due to the poor hygienic conditions, diseases break out time and again. Medicines are rare and often only available in the black market or how they say here "Der Schleich" ("the sneak") in Resselpark near Karlskirche. Penicillin, in particular, is a goldmine for the sneak traders, as it is considered a miracle cure for infectious diseases. Nylons and Chesterfields are the most popular substitute currency of the time. Security in the city is provided by the famous "Four in a Jeep", a military patrol made up of military policemen from the four occupying powers. Nevertheless, murders, looting and raids occur on a daily basis. Kidnappings by the Soviets are the order of the day. Anyone can become a victim of a kidnapping, whether it is a quarrel with a drunken Russian soldier, an accusation of espionage or because one has fled the Eastern Bloc. The victims are dragged into a car, taken to the Soviet Union and disappear for years in a labour camp in Siberia. Graham Green's thriller "The Third Man" is set against this backdrop.

The story of The Third man follows US American author Holly Martins. He travels to Vienna for a job offer from his old friend Harry Lime. On his arrival in Vienna, Martins learns that Harry Lime has died in a mysterious traffic accident in front of his apartment.

Martins begins to investigate. He fears that Harry Lime was the victim of an assassination attempt. During his research, he not only meets an acquaintance of Harry's, but also the British officer Calloway, who tells Martins that Harry was the head of the most dangerous black market gang in Vienna. Harry Lime ran a lucrative business in stolen penicillin. To increase his profits, he had the penicillin diluted, which caused permanent damage to patients, including death. In the course of his investigations, Martins also meets Harry's former girlfriend Anna Schmidt and falls in love with her. She is a Czechoslovakian actress who is living in Vienna with forged papers and is wanted by the Russians. After a visit to her apartment, he notices the shadow of a man in a doorway. To his astonishment, he recognizes Harry Lime. But he flees  and suddenly disappears from the face of the earth. With the help of two of Harry Lime's acquaintances, Martins manages to meet him at the Ferris wheel in the Vienna Prater. During the ride in a gondola, Harry justifies the trade in adulterated penicillin by pointing to the insignificance of the lives of individuals. He has faked his own death so that he can continue his underground business in peace. Martins turns down another offer from Harry to work for him. Calloway urges Martins to lure Harry Lime into a trap in order to finally put a stop to his activities. Martins agrees and arranges to meet Harry in a café on the Hoher Markt. However, Harry Lime realizes in time that he has been set up and flees into the extensive sewers. However, when he tries to escape through a manhole cover and is unable to open it, he is shot by his former friend.


Still today, in 2024, most of the filming locations from 1948/49 are still there in the old town of Vienna (Am Hof, Schreyvogelgasse, Schönlaterngasse, Prater, Minoritenkirche and much more). I'd be delighted welcoming you and your camera crew as local production fixer in Vienna. I'll show you around, take about all the filming and locations permits and I can support with additional research for interesting interviewees and contributors !

More info...just drop me a line via


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