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Harry Lime's Ferris Wheel (The Third Man)

Listed under Film Locations in Vienna, Austria.

  • Photo of Harry Lime's Ferris Wheel (The Third Man)
  • Photo of Harry Lime's Ferris Wheel (The Third Man)
  • Photo of Harry Lime's Ferris Wheel (The Third Man)
  • Photo of Harry Lime's Ferris Wheel (The Third Man)
Photo of Harry Lime's Ferris Wheel (The Third Man)
Photo by flickr user tttaaaooo
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The Third Man (Dir: Carol Reed, 1949). Prater Amusement Park, Prater, Vienna, Austria . This was one of the first film locations to warrant a pilgrimage. War ravaged Vienna is so well cast in this film that many reviewers have said the city is like another character - so I won’t say that. I will say that the shadowy Vienna of the film with it’s strange silences opposing it’s loud echoes, shot from drunken angles and in stark black and white lighting is as priceless to the suspense and mystery of the film as the narrative or the acting. The most iconic location is the ferris wheel at Prater Amusement Park where Harry Lime delivers the monologue about the Swiss and their cuckoo clocks: “in Italy, for thirty years under the Borgias they had warfare, terror, murder and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and the Renaissance. In Switzerland, they had brotherly love. They had five hundred years of democracy and peace. And what did that produce? The cuckoo clock.” While following Harry Lime’s footprints through Vienna you should also visit the cemetery where Harry was supposedly buried, the Zentral-Friedhof, Simmeringen Hauptstrasse, there you can stop off and visit the graves of Beethoven, Schubert and Strauss. And the Hotel Sacher Wien, Philharmonikerstrasse 4, where British Intelligence put Holly Martins up after he hears of Harry’s death. The hotel looks pretty much as it does on film, but it’s now very very pricey. The Harry Lime trail is so popular now that you can actually join a walking tour and visit all the locations used. This would usually defeat the purpose of discovery for me but in this case it allows you into the famous sewer (if you want to spend your holiday in Vienna traipsing round a sewer) so it was worth it.

Written by  Film Fan.

Other expert and press reviews

“Vienna: a world where the Third Man lives on”

By Tom Chesshyre for The Times First Published September 5th, 2009 Under a sycamore tree on a corner of a road just south of the Vienna opera house a handful of tourists has gathered by a hole in a pavement with a spiral staircase leading down into dar… Read more...

Written by press. Continue reading on,uk

“Wonderful old fashioned charm”

Vienna Prater amusement park has been a public leisure place since as early as in 1766 when the Austrian Emperor Josef II donated the area to the Viennese. Before it became an amusement park it was hunting ground for the imperials and only allowed for … Read more...

Written by  Lifecruiser Travel. Read more in Lifecruiser Travel Blog

Comments, reviews and questions by other travellers

The Third Man Tour

You know you’re in your element when you stand on a Vienna street with a group of thirty people of different generations, nationalities, and languages reciting, in unison, the lines from Carol Reed’s classic and perfect film, The Third Man. Take the tour and have no regrets. You’ll spend the rest of your time in Vienna humming that Anton Karas theme.

1 Reply

Hi Yasmine,

Thanks for your terrific play.

Are you familiar with the Ignition program at Victory Gardens in Chicago? For playwrights of color under 40. You look considerably younger, but I am guessing you are closing in on that magic number b/c of when you were at NYU.

Let me know. I'd be glad to recommend you

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