Third Man, The

Date: 1949
Director: Carol Reed
Production Company: London Film Productions

Stars: Joseph Cotten, Alida Valli, Orson Welles, Trevor Howard, Bernard Lee, Wilfred Hyde-White
Location(s): Vienna (Austria)



American pulp fiction novelist Holly Martins travels to shadowy postwar Vienna to find that his long term friend Harry Lime, who had invited him there, had just been killed in a car accident and was also one of the City’s worst racketeers. Refusing to accept his friends involvement in criminal activities he sets out to investigate the mysterious death and hopefully clear his friends name. When he learns from Harry’s porter that there was a “third man” present at the time of the accident his enquiries lead him to Harry’s suspect associates as well as his girl friend Anna Schmidt and the international police. In due course his friend emerges from the darkness of a doorway to be “the third man”.

Additional Information:

Screen captures and uncredited now shots uploaded by Richard Lovejoy.

With sincere thanks to W. Unruh, his website and all those who have over time provided so much additional information and material for him making my attention to this film so much more enjoyable and I must say, “easier”. The depth of analysis and investigation together with the results is absorbing.

My thanks must also go to Brigitte Timmermann and her master volume The Third Man’s Vienna – Celebrating a Film Classic for additional location and background information. A totally engrossing read.

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If you have any information regarding this film, any of the stills, or even better, some NOW shots please contact us.

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The location of Vienna is set by a roof top view including the dome of the Hofburg Palace to the left and the spire of St Stephen’s Cathedral dominating.

The classic features of Vienna are shown as Carol Reed, in a voice over, talks of “the old Vienna before the War” that he never knew. The Strauss monument in Stadtpark.

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Possibly even more golden now than in 1949.

“Constantinople suited him better.” The top of Parliament Building facade, Schmerlingplatz.

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Best possible shot from ground level.

The Beethoven Monument in Beethovenplatz.

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Fortunately no snow when I was there.

Reed explains that the City is divided into four zones – “American”. The Rathaus with the Votive Church in the background.

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Closer access was not permitted at the time of my visit.

“British”. Schöenbrunn Palace.

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Perhaps more colourful now and, of course, without the sign.

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“Russian”. Belvedere, Prinz Eugen-Straße 27.

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“French”. Westbahnhof, demolished in 1949.

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“The centre of the City is International.” Palais Auersperg, Auerspergstrasse 1, Josefstadt.

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"Policed by an International Patrol, one member of each of the four powers." Justizpalast, Schmerlingplatz.

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“Vienna doesn’t look any worse than a lot of any other European Cities”. Hoher Markt with the Vermählungsbrunnen (Wedding Fountain) foreground and the prominent spire of St. Stephen’s Cathedral.

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St. Stephan's Cathedral (Stephansdom), destroyed by fire in 1945 as a result of flames from nearby buildings. As seen from the South East.

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Hoher Markt with the Wedding Fountain to the left and Stephansdom in the far background.

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“bombed about a bit”. The all important Ferris Wheel naturally features.

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Palace of Justice, (Justizplatz), Schmerlingplatz.

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“oh, I was going to tell you about Holly Martin (Joseph Cotton) who came all the way here to visit a friend of his . . . . Harry Lime”. Justizplatz, Schmerlingplatz.

Holly arrives in Vienna “happy as a lark and without a cent” and goes to visit his friend Harry. Josephplatz 5.

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Now a much more opulent scene.

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Holly enters the building. Unfortunately the doors are now well secured.

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Holly learns from the porter that his friend Harry Lime has been killed by a car and arrives in time for the funeral. Zentralfriedhof (Vienna Central Cemetery).

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Attending the funeral is Major Calloway (Trevor Howard).

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Also there is Anna Schmidt (Alida Valli) Lime's girlfriend.

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By the graveside are ‘Baron’ Kurtz (Ernst Deutsch) and Dr Winkel (Erich Ponto).

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As Holly leaves the graveside he is followed by Maj. Calloway.

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The Major offers Holly a lift into town.

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They are observed by Sgt. Paine (Bernard Lee).

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Calloway and Holly drive off followed by Sgt. Paine.

Harry arranges to meet ‘Baron’ Kurtz at the Café Mozart to find out greater detail of the accident. Neuer Markt.

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Café Mozart is elsewhere and it is certainly less quiet now.

Kurtz agrees to show Holly how the accident that killed Harry Lime happened. Josephplatz.

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Pity about all the metallic objects.

A truck approached as Harry was crossing to meet a friend . . . . ”it was just about here”. Josephplatz.

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A break in the tour parties.

Kurtz and Harry’s friend “picked him up and laid him down just about here . . . . and this is where he died”. Josephplatz.

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It benefits from the more colourful background.

They are watched throughout by Harry’s Porter (Paul Hörbiger). Josephplatz 5 (Palais Pallavicini).

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The porter is clearly still doing a very good job.

Holly crosses back to enquire of the Porter who Harry’s friends were. Josephplatz 5.

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I only wish that I could have had access.

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The Porters wife (Annie Rosar) overhears the conversation getting “difficult” and calls him in on the pretext of a telephone call. Josephplatz 5.

Holly meets up with Anna to find out more about the accident from the Porter. During his conversation with the Porter he looks out of Harry Lime's apartment window. The view is not that of Josephplatz as might be expected but Ledererhof some distance away.

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From ground level.

Afterward Holly sees Anna to her home. Am Hof.

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Regrettably the old ornate building is gone but the fire station in the background remains, albeit without the clock.

They learn from the Anna’s landlady (Hedwig Bleibtreu) that the police are searching her apartment. Am Hof.

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A window not a door, I think most of us would prefer that the old was in situ.

They glance upwards to see the lights on.

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A daylight shot of the replacement building.

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Holly calls on Harry’s doctor, Dr. Winkel who he understands happened to be passing by just as Harry was dying. St. Ulrichsplatz.

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At the International Police Station Maj. Calloway advises Anne, whom he is questioning regarding items they had taken from her apartment, that Holly is still waiting for her outside. The junction of Schellinggasse and Schwarzenbergplatz.

Holly calls at the Casanova Club to meet Anne. Dorotheergasse 6-8.

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All now long gone.

Dr Winkel learns of a conspirators meeting “at the bridge” with Harry’s friend Popescu (Siegried Breuer) and others. Borsegasse at the junction with Tiefer Graben with Maria am Gestade Church in the background. He is setting off from nowhere near his apartment in Capture 38.

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All now carefully restored, well, except for the modern building on the left.

The parties meet. The Reichsbrüke (Imperial Bridge). It collapsed on Sunday 1st August 1976 killing one person.

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The replacement bridge from a tourist bus on a very wet, cold grey day. There is now no pedestrian access to the bridge, the walkways and central reservation were given up for lane widening in 2003.

Holly returns to the scene of Harry’s accident and the Porter talks to him from an upstairs window inviting Harry to return to see him in the evening. Josephplatz 5.

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Not so possible to wander in the middle of the road now.

As Anna and Holly turn the corner the same evening to visit the Porter . . . . In fact they are looking in an entirely different direction. Braunerstrasse with Josephplatz in the background.

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Josephplatz, but only now do I realise that I should have been further to the right at the corner with Braunerstrasse. A corrected shot is required here.

. . . . they see the police and a crowd.

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A few minutes earlier and you could have seen a tour group.

Having ascertained that the Porter had been murdered they leave hurriedly followed by Little Hansel (Herbert Halbik) who is accusing Holly. He turns to call his father before renewing his chase. Little Hansel is actually in Braunerstrasse with Josephplatz in the background. Josephplatz No 5 is round the corner to the left.

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Once again I realise that I should have been further to the right at the corner with Braunerstrasse. That is the consequence of believing continuity. As with Capture 44 a corrected shot is required here.

Holly and Anna make their escape. Ruprechtsplatz with St. Ruprechts Kirche in the background.

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Health and Safety Austrian style have had their way.

Closely followed by Little Hansel and the crowd. Drahtgasses looking towards Am Hof.

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I am sure my view would have been ruined in the summer by umbrellas.

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They enter the Cinema called “Heimatkino”. Portzellangasse.

As Anna buys the tickets Holly turns to see the little boy coming round the corner. Ledererhof, actually nowhere near the cinema.

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Still a quiet part of the City.

Holly leaves Anne at the cinema and at the Hotel Sacher endeavours to use a telephone to call Major Calloway but finds that a car and driver is waiting for him.

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More than one car waiting these days.

Before he can say where he wants to go the car speeds off through the Huher Markt (High Market) . . . . The building was on the corner with Marc Aurel Strasse, now rebuilt.

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The war damaged building replacement.

. . . . Metastasiogasse with a corner of Minoritenkirche on the right hand side . . . .

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All remains the same but lighter and cleaner.

. . . . making the most of the location . . . . . Metastasiogasse again with a clearer view of the Kirche . . .

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A little off angle as a result of my very dark "crib sheet" print.

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. . . . whilst doing his best to have the taxi driver listen to him they continue at speed through the City, St Ulrich’s Platz . . . .

. . . . Schoenlanterngasse at the corner with Sonnenfelsgasse . . . . The location is to be used again at Capture 92

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The architecture can at least now be enjoyed.

. . . . they turn the corner continuing in Sonnenfelsgasse . . . . The location is used again in Capture 88.

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A little less commercial presence now.

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. . . . passing the street cleaning lorry down Rennweg 10 (Opposite Metternichgasse) and Salesianerinnenkirche to the right . . . .

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. . . . shortly after, the taxi swerves through the entrance to Salesianerinnenkirche but for the film is marked ”Internationales Transprtkontor”.

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Cutting to the taxi drawing up in the courtyard of what is now a music school and for the purposes of the film, where Holly was to give an agreed talk to the British Cultural Relations Society.

At the end of his ill-received presentation Popescu sends two “heavies” after him. He runs through a tunnel of arches. Wipplingerstraße.

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There have been substantial changes to incorporate shops and modernise but every so often glimpses of "the old" can be seen.

Up a flight of steps. Gestade up to Maria am Gestade church.

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Virtually identical save for the building intruding on the left.

He continues his journey up Judengasse from Hoher Markt with the Wedding Monument clearly visible.

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Judengasse had been re-aligned with the rebuilding.

Holly’s pursers are not far behind.

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No longer a narrow thoroughfare.

Having eventually made his way to police HQ Holly learns of Lime’s racket from Major Calloway. He accepts the evidence against his friend and decides to return home visiting Anna to say goodbye. A view from her apartment looking down into Schreyvogelgasse and a man passing a doorway. But her apartment is in Am Hof (Capture 35).

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From ground level.

Holly saunters away from the apartment towards Moelker Steig.

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Once again, from ground level.

The doorway Schreyvogelgasse, a cat, and is that the outline of a person?

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The door must have been open for Harry Lime to have hidden there.

Holly thinks he is being followed and shouts to the hidden figure. He stares when he sees Harry Lime’s face but by the time he arrives at the doorway, Lime has gone and he runs in the only direction possible.

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No hasty movements while we were there.

He sees the shadow of Harry making his escape. Shulhofplatz off the Am Hof.

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The refuse bins rather spoil it.

Giving chase he arrives in Am Hof.

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Was the cherub water fountain always there or just a prop? Certainly not there now.

Holly stands by a kiosk listening for Harry’s whereabouts. Am Hof.

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It is believed that the kiosk was a prop as the underground here is a large car park.

He subsequently endeavours to convince Calloway that Lime disappeared at about this spot.

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Forget the old weight restrictions it is now "No Entry".

Suddenly the possible reality dawns on Calloway and they make their way to the kiosk, an entrance to the sewers. Am Hof.

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Car parking above and below.

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Calloway, Sgt. Paine and Holly descend the steps. It is considered that the kiosk might have been a prop for there is doubt as to whether sewers flowed because below is now a large car park.

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Now strongly suspecting that Lime may not be dead his grave is dug up, only to find the body of Harbin, medical orderly at the local hospital who supplied Lime with the penicillin that he diluted and sold on. Zentralfriedhof (Vienna Central Cemetery).

Holly visits Kurtz at his home. Morzinplatz 3 The rubble in the background is the remains of Hotel Metropol used as the Gestapo Headquarters.

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Another ornate edifice gone.

He tells Kurtz and Winkel that he wants to see Lime, “Are you mad?” Kurtz asks.

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Even the new building shows sign of attention to detail.

Holly is invited up to talk, but he declines and steps backwards, with the Ferris Wheel behind him, he tells them to instruct Lime to meet him at the Wheel. In reality the Wheel is a considerable distance away.

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We will probably never know from where that backdrop shot was taken.

Holly sits by the wheel and awaits Lime’s appearance. Prater.

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More or less the right spot.

In due course Harry Lime (Orson Welles) appears.

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A general shot from the general area.

The Ferris Wheel.

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Needless to say considerable building work has taken place around the base to frustrate the exact angle shot.

“Keep the change” says Lime as they enter the car. A studio set included for completeness.

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A real Ferris Wheel car.

Holly challenges Lime regarding the consideration that he has for his victims. Lime likens the loss of “the odd” dot (person) from the view below.

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More or less the correct area if the main thoroughfare remains the same.

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After his meeting Holly bargains with Calloway for Anna’s safe passage (she has false papers) in exchange for helping to trap Lime. She is escorted to the station by Sgt. Paine. Südbahnhof railway station.

Anna refuses to leave when she learns of the deal but Holly continues with the trap after he witnesses the consequences of the diluted penicillin. He waits for Harry at the Café Marc Aure (Created for the film). Southwest side of Hoher Markt.

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A stationery shop at the time of filming but now a restaurant, fortunately the building remains.

Holly keeps looking into the square for signs of Harry. Hoher Markt.

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The restored and developed market square.

Meanwhile one of the soldiers keep watch from the "Vermählungsbrunnen" (Wedding Fountain). Hoher Markt.

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Notwithstanding the angel I found it impossible to replicate the background buildings.

Others are supposedly also watching, Schoenlanterngasse . . . .

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As Capture 57, a number of locations were used more than once as part of another sequence.

Judengasse . . . . The location is used again in Capture 96

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A further example of the widened Judengasse.

Ballgasse . . . .

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And now, another location to be used again at Capture 98.

Judengasse. Similar to Captures 63 and 64 but further back.

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Parked cars prevented the correct angle.

Schoenlanterngasse at the corner with Sonnenfelsgass . . . . Location used earlier in Capture 56

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Pity about the foreground screening.

Eventually a shadow appears watched by Calloway, Paine and Holly. Holly could not have seen this as it is Michaelerplatz, nowhere near Hoher Markt.

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Unfortunately this sculpture, like others, was boarded up.

Followed shortly after by the balloon seller. Hoher Markt. Apparently he was a well known character in Vienna after the War.

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The rebuilding cannot have been going on all those years can it?

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Lime escapes from Café Marc Aurel having overhead Anna accuse Holly of being an informer. In the background is Berghof 4, the other side of Hoher Markt from which he is supposed to be running.

He runs though Judengasse. Location used again as in Capture 89.

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The second use of the widened Judengasse location.

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Lime reaches an entrance to the sewers. Karlsplatz and Esperantopark opposite what is now Secession Building.

Meanwhile a soldier follows closely behind. Ballgasse. Location used again as per Capture 90.

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Scaffolded for an RS shot as so often happens.

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One of many shots in the sewer chase most of which would be very difficult to establish the exact location of, especially as some were studio shots in London.

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Meanwhile additional troop reinforcements arrive. Alserbachstrasse and Rossauerlände.

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Eventually Lime is cornered, unable to escape, he is shot by Holly who has come to terms with his friends activities and Harry is “reburied”. Zentralfriedhof (Vienna Central Cemetery).

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Anna leaves the graveside and seen here approaching the Jugenstil angel.

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With the Jugenstil angel behind them Calloway offers Martins a lift.

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Having passed Anna, Holly asks to be dropped off, he “cannot just leave”.

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Anna walks on past ignoring him.