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Definition of The Third Man from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

 

The Third Man

 
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a story written by Graham Greene for a successful film (1949), directed by Carol Reed, and later published as a short novel. The story takes place in Vienna just after the end of World War II and is about a US journalist's search for his friend Harry Lime. Lime has made it appear that he died in a road accident but in fact he is involved in selling harmful drugs. The star of the film is Orson Welles as Lime, although he appears in very few scenes. Many people remember the film's music, which is played on a zither, an instrument with many strings stretched over a flat wooden box, played with the fingers.