AUSTRIA: Orson Welles's Vienna no more – 'The Third Man' shows its age.

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    Orson Welles plays Harry Lime in a scene of Carol Reed's 1949 award-winning film "The Third Man".
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A local, slice-of-life story from a Monitor correspondent.

VIENNA – This month marks the 60th anniversary of the 1949 award-winning film “The Third Man,” a tale of espionage in the dark streets and sewers of Vienna starring Orson Welles and directed by Carol Reed. In tribute, the Austrian Post Office recently unveiled a commemorative “Third Man Stamp” during a celebration at The Third Man Museum.

For the most part, “The Third Man” reminds many local residents of a war-ravaged history they would like to leave behind. Vienna has since transformed itself from a destitute city divided by Allied forces to a booming metropolis voted No. 1 in a “Best Cities to Live In” poll. But for movie buffs, “The Third Man” has long drawn tourists to Vienna eager to visit key spots filmed in the movie.

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“Most people have no idea what Austrians went through after the war,” says Christopher Timmerman, a Vienna Walks tour guide. “It’s a time they’d [Austrians] sooner forget.”

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