British motion picture about a pulp fiction writer
investigating the disappearance of a friend in Vienna, Austria, after World War II (1939-1945). Written by Graham Greene and released in 1949, the film won the grand prize at the Cannes Film Festival and an Academy Award for Robert Krasker's cinematography.
Upon his arrival in Vienna, Holly Martins (played by Joseph Cotten) learns that his friend Harry Lime (Orson Welles) has been run over by a car and killed. When a British intelligence agent (Trevor Howard) tells Martins that his friend was a black-market profiteer and a scoundrel, Martins decides to investigate and clear his friend's name.
While investigating, the writer discovers that Lime has been selling tainted medicine on the black market, harming many innocent people and making a fortune. As he learns more about the accident, it seems less and less like an accident.
Three men carried the body away from the scene, one of whom no one can identify. He also discovers that Lime is still alive and decides to help the British secret agent capture him. In one riveting sequence, the police pursue Lime through the Vienna sewer system.