Betrayal, conspiracy and a secret third man. One man’s quest for truth will uncover it all.
Holly Martins took a deep breath as the train came to a halt at the Vienna West railway station. He had been looking forward to this trip for weeks but now that he was here, the city seemed foreign and daunting. The war had left its mark on Vienna, with bombed-out buildings and empty storefronts lining the streets. It was a far cry from the romantic city he had imagined.
As he stepped onto the platform, he searched for a familiar face in the sea of strangers. But there was no sign of his old friend, Harry Lime. Holly scanned the crowd, his heart sinking with each passing moment. He had come all this way to see Harry, and now it seemed like he wasn’t even here.
Chapter 1: Arrival in Vienna
Holly stood on the platform, his luggage at his feet, feeling lost and alone. He had always been a bit of a loner, but even he couldn’t deny the pang of loneliness he felt as he gazed out at the empty streets of Vienna.
He had come to Vienna to visit Harry, his childhood friend who had promised to help him get back on his feet after a string of failed writing gigs. Harry had always been the adventurous one, the one who went out and saw the world while Holly stayed behind and wrote his pulp Westerns. But now, it seemed, their roles had reversed. Harry was the one living the high life in Vienna, while Holly was struggling just to make ends meet.
As he lugged his bags through the streets, Holly couldn’t help but feel like a stranger in a strange land. The city was so different from what he had pictured in his mind. He had always imagined Vienna as a city of romance and intrigue, but now it seemed desolate and lonely.
He finally arrived at the hotel where he was supposed to meet Harry, but there was still no sign of him. Holly tried to call Harry’s number but there was no answer. He began to worry that something had happened to his old friend.
Desperate for answers, Holly decided to visit Harry’s apartment. The address Harry had given him was in the old part of the city, with narrow cobblestone streets and buildings that looked like they had seen better days. The door to Harry’s apartment was unlocked, and Holly hesitated for a moment before pushing it open.
The apartment was dark and musty, with a layer of dust covering every surface. Holly looked around, feeling a sense of unease. It was clear that no one had been living here for some time. But then he noticed a flicker of movement out of the corner of his eye.
He turned his head and saw a shadow dart across the room. Holly’s heart raced as he realized he wasn’t alone in the apartment. He cautiously made his way across the room, his hand fumbling for the gun he always carried with him.
“Who’s there?” he called out. There was no answer, but he could hear the sound of footsteps echoing in the darkness.
Suddenly, a figure appeared out of nowhere, darting towards Holly with a knife. He raised his gun and fired, the sound echoing in the empty apartment. The figure fell to the ground, dead.
Holly stood there, his heart pounding, not quite sure what he had just done. He looked down at the lifeless body, his mind racing with questions. Who was this person? And what did they want with him?
It was then that Holly realized he had stumbled into something much bigger than he had ever imagined. This wasn’t just about finding Harry anymore. There was a conspiracy here, a web of lies and deceit that went all the way to the top. And Holly was determined to get to the bottom of it, no matter what the cost.
Chapter 2: Meeting Anna
Holly felt a pang of guilt as he watched Anna quietly weep at Harry’s funeral. He had barely known his old friend’s lover, but he felt responsible for her grief. After the service, he approached her tentatively, unsure what to say.
“I’m sorry for your loss,” he said, lamely.
Anna looked up at him, her eyes red and swollen. “Thank you,” she whispered. “You were a friend of Harry’s?”
Holly nodded. “We go way back. We grew up together in America.”
Anna looked at him skeptically. “You don’t look like the type of people Harry associated with.”
Holly bristled at the comment, but decided not to take offense. He knew he looked like a washed-up cowboy, with his rumpled suit and cowboy hat. “I’m a writer,” he said. “Pulp Westerns, mostly.”
Anna’s eyes flickered with interest. “You write books?”
Holly smiled, pleased that he had piqued her curiosity. “Yeah, I do. They’re not exactly literary masterpieces, but they pay the bills.”
Anna looked away, lost in thought. Holly sensed that she was struggling to process her grief.
“I know this is a bad time,” he said, “but if there’s anything I can do to help, just let me know.”
Anna smiled weakly. “Thank you. That’s very kind of you. I just need some time to myself right now.”
Holly nodded, disappointed but understanding. “Of course. But if you ever need someone to talk to, I’m here.”
Anna nodded, and Holly took his leave, feeling awkward. He couldn’t shake the feeling that something was off about the whole situation. Harry’s death had felt suspicious from the start, but now it was starting to seem like a full-blown conspiracy. And why was Anna so evasive? Holly resolved to get to the bottom of things, no matter what it took.
Over the next few days, Holly immersed himself in his investigation, interviewing Harry’s acquaintances and combing through his paperwork. He learned that Harry had been involved in some shady business deals, and that he had made enemies in high places. But the more he learned, the more confused he became. Was Harry a victim, or a criminal? And where did the elusive “third man” fit into all of this?
One evening, as he was leaving a seedy bar after talking to a shady character who claimed to know about Harry’s business dealings, Holly felt a tap on his shoulder. He turned around to see Anna standing behind him, looking fragile and vulnerable.
“I’m sorry to bother you,” she said, her voice barely above a whisper. “But can I talk to you for a minute?”
Holly’s heart leapt at the chance to get closer to Anna, but he suppressed his excitement. “Of course,” he said. “What’s on your mind?”
Anna looked around nervously, as if afraid of being overheard. “I don’t know who to trust anymore,” she said, her voice trembling. “Everyone seems to have their own agenda. But I feel like I can trust you.”
Holly felt a surge of pride at the compliment. “You can,” he said, firmly. “I’m in this to uncover the truth, no matter what.”
Anna nodded, tears welling up in her eyes. “I believe you. That’s why I have to tell you something.”
Holly leaned in, captivated. “What is it?”
Anna took a deep breath. “I think Harry’s death was no accident. And I think… I think he was involved in something dangerous. Something that got him killed.”
Holly’s mind raced. “What kind of something?”
Anna shook her head. “I don’t know. He was always very secretive. But I overheard him talking about something called ‘the Orson Welles job.’ I don’t know what it means, but it sounded important.”
Holly felt a chill run down his spine. Orson Welles was a famous filmmaker, but what did he have to do with Harry’s death?
Anna took a step closer to Holly, her eyes pleading. “Please, Holly. Find out what happened to Harry. I can’t live with not knowing.”
Holly put a comforting hand on Anna’s shoulder, feeling a rush of tenderness. “I will,” he said. “I promise.”
As Anna walked away, Holly felt a sense of renewed purpose. He had a new lead, but he was up against unknown enemies. He had to be careful. But he was determined to see this through to the end, no matter what it took. For Harry’s sake, and for Anna’s.
Chapter 3: The Conspiracy Theory
Holly couldn’t shake the feeling that Harry’s death was no accident. As he sat alone in his shabby hotel room, he pored over the scraps of information he had gathered so far. He knew there was something more going on, something sinister and dangerous. And he was determined to find out what it was.
He started by retracing Harry’s last steps. He visited the scene of the accident, a dark alleyway on the outskirts of the city. It was a dreary and desolate place, with barely a soul in sight. But Holly sensed that someone had been there, someone who didn’t want to be seen.
He asked around, trying to find witnesses who might have seen something. But no one seemed to remember anything, or they were too scared to speak. Holly sensed that there was a conspiracy of silence in place, and he was determined to break it.
He spent his days wandering the streets of Vienna, asking questions and gathering information. He talked to Harry’s acquaintances and business associates, trying to piece together the puzzle of his life. He learned that Harry had been involved in some shady dealings, but no one could say for sure what they were.
One day, he stumbled upon a lead. He was walking through the park, lost in thought, when he heard a voice calling his name. It was a young woman, dressed in a smart suit and carrying a briefcase. Holly didn’t recognize her at first, but then he realized that she was a friend of Harry’s.
“Hello, Holly,” she said, smiling warmly. “I’m Anna Schmidt. You must be the famous writer Harry told me about.”
Holly was taken aback. He had heard of Anna, of course, but he had never met her in person. He had no idea that she was so beautiful, with long golden hair and sparkling blue eyes.
“Nice to meet you,” he said, trying to hide his surprise. “What brings you here?”
“I heard that you were asking questions about Harry,” she said, her smile fading. “I thought you should know that he was involved in some dangerous business. I don’t know all the details, but I know that he had enemies. I think that’s why he died.”
Holly’s heart sank. He had suspected as much, but to have it confirmed by someone who had known Harry so intimately was a blow. He felt a surge of anger and frustration. How could Harry have gotten mixed up in such a mess?
“I’m sorry,” he said, shaking his head. “I had no idea.”
Anna looked at him sympathetically. “I know how you feel,” she said. “I loved Harry, too. But we have to face the truth. He wasn’t a saint, and he got himself into a lot of trouble. We have to find out what happened to him, for his sake.”
Holly nodded, feeling a sense of determination. He had a new ally in Anna, and together they could unravel the mystery of Harry’s death. He took her hand and squeezed it tightly. “Thank you,” he said. “I know we can do this.”
They spent the rest of the day talking, sharing stories and ideas. Holly was struck by how intelligent and thoughtful Anna was, and how much she loved Harry. He wondered what it would be like to be with a woman like her, someone who understood him and accepted him for who he was.
As they walked through the streets of Vienna, Holly couldn’t help but feel that they were being watched. He sensed that they were getting closer to the truth, and that someone was trying to stop them. He looked over his shoulder, but he saw nothing unusual. He shrugged it off, but the feeling of unease lingered.
That night, as he lay in bed, Holly couldn’t sleep. He tossed and turned, his mind racing with thoughts and ideas. He had a nagging feeling that there was something he was missing, something important. He got up and paced around the room, trying to clear his head. But the feeling persisted.
Finally, he went to the window and looked out at the city. It was dark and silent, except for the occasional car passing by. He thought he saw a shadow move in an alleyway, but he dismissed it as his imagination. He turned away from the window and went back to bed, hoping that tomorrow would bring some answers.
Chapter 4: Interference from Major Calloway
Holly sat nervously in Major Calloway’s office, wondering why he had been summoned. The Major had been curt and uninviting at Harry’s funeral, and Holly suspected that he did not have his best interests at heart.
“Mr. Martins,” the Major began, “I understand that you have been sticking your nose where it doesn’t belong.”
Holly was taken aback. “I don’t know what you mean, Major.”
“Don’t play dumb, Mr. Martins. I know you’ve been asking questions about Harry Lime’s death. I’m telling you now, it’s not your concern.”
Holly bristled. “Harry was my friend. Of course it’s my concern.”
“He was also a criminal, Mr. Martins. A racketeer who made his living off of the misery of others. You would do well to remember that.”
Holly felt a pang of guilt at the Major’s words, but he refused to let them show. “What’s your point?”
“My point,” the Major said, leaning forward in his chair, “is that you’re meddling in affairs that you don’t understand. You’re a writer of pulp Westerns, Mr. Martins, not a detective. Leave the investigating to us.”
Holly felt his ears burning with anger. “I’ll investigate wherever I damn well please, Major. Harry was my friend, and I owe it to him to find out the truth.”
The Major sighed heavily. “You’re a stubborn man, Mr. Martins. I suppose I can’t stop you from investigating. But I would advise you to be careful. You’re treading on dangerous ground.”
Holly stood up, feeling a surge of determination. “I’ll be careful, Major. But I won’t stop until I’ve uncovered the truth.”
As he left the Major’s office, Holly felt a mix of emotions. On the one hand, he was thrilled that he had been able to stand up to the Major and assert his independence. On the other hand, he had a sinking feeling that he was in over his head.
He decided to take a walk around the city, hoping to clear his head. The streets of Vienna were bustling with activity, but Holly felt a sense of unease as he walked. He couldn’t shake the feeling that he was being watched.
As he turned a corner, he saw a shadowy figure duck into an alleyway. Holly felt a shiver run down his spine and instinctively followed the figure.
He emerged into a narrow street lined with tall apartment buildings. The figure was nowhere to be seen. Holly felt a sense of foreboding as he looked around, wondering if he had made a mistake.
Suddenly, he heard footsteps behind him. He turned to see a group of men dressed in dark suits and fedoras approaching him.
Holly felt a surge of panic as he realized that these men meant him harm. He turned to run, but one of the men grabbed him by the collar and pulled him back.
“Mr. Martins,” the man said, his voice cold and menacing. “I think it’s time we had a little chat.”
Holly struggled to break free, but the man held him fast. He felt a sharp blow to the back of his head and then everything went black.
When he awoke, Holly was lying on the ground in a dimly lit room. His head was pounding and his vision was blurred. He tried to sit up, but found that he was tied to a chair.
A man appeared in front of him, his face hidden in the shadows. “Mr. Martins,” the man said, his voice low and menacing. “I understand that you’ve been asking questions about Harry Lime’s death.”
Holly felt a surge of fear. “Who are you? What do you want?”
The man stepped closer, revealing a scarred and pockmarked face. “I’m someone who doesn’t like it when people meddle in his affairs,” he said. “And I don’t take kindly to people who stick their noses where they don’t belong.”
Holly felt his heart racing. He didn’t know who this man was, but he knew that he was in serious trouble. He tried to speak, but the words caught in his throat.
The man stepped even closer. “I’m going to give you a warning, Mr. Martins,” he said. “Leave this investigation alone. Or else.”
Holly felt a sense of dread wash over him. He didn’t know what to do or who to turn to. All he knew was that he had to get out of there alive.
As the man turned to leave, Holly felt a glimmer of hope. He wiggled his hands, trying to loosen the ropes that bound him.
To his surprise, he found that they were starting to give way. With a surge of effort, he managed to break free of the ropes and stand up.
The man turned back, his expression one of surprise and anger. Holly knew that this was his chance to escape.
He ran towards the door, but the man was too quick for him. He tackled Holly to the ground and they fought fiercely, grappling for control.
In the end, Holly emerged victorious. He punched the man in the face and ran out of the room, his heart pounding with adrenaline.
As he stumbled out onto the street, he realized that he had narrowly escaped death. And he knew that he had to redouble his efforts to uncover the truth about Harry Lime’s death.
Despite the danger that lay ahead, Holly felt a surge of determination. He wouldn’t rest until he had uncovered the truth about his friend’s death, no matter what the cost.
Chapter 5: The Sewer Chase
Holly ran through the dark and damp sewers of Vienna, his heart pounding in his chest. He could hear his pursuers hot on his heels, their footsteps echoing through the tunnel. He glanced back and saw the shadows of men wielding weapons, their faces obscured by the flickering light of a torch.
He had never been so scared in his life. He had stumbled upon something big, something dangerous, something that people were willing to kill for. He knew he had to find a way out of the sewers and fast, or he would never make it out alive.
Taking a deep breath, he pushed himself harder, his legs burning with exertion. He rounded a corner and skidded to a stop. In front of him was a massive wall, blocked by a rusted metal gate.
He surveyed his options quickly. He could try to climb the gate, but it looked too high and the metal was slick with condensation. He could try to backtrack and hope to lose his pursuers, but he knew they were too close. Or he could take a chance and try to find another way out.
He spotted a small vent in the wall, barely big enough for him to fit through. It was a long shot, but he had no other choice. He yanked the grate off and squeezed through the opening, feeling his heart race as he struggled to make his way through the narrow tunnel.
He could feel the damp earth beneath his palms, the stench of sewage filling his nostrils. He crawled forward, his heart threatening to burst from his chest. He could hear his pursuers above him, shouting and cursing in frustration.
He crawled for what felt like hours, his muscles aching and his clothes soaked with filth. He was about to give up hope when he saw a glimmer of light up ahead. He quickened his pace, feeling a renewed sense of hope as he crawled towards the opening.
When he finally emerged, he found himself in a small alley behind a decrepit building. He scrambled to his feet and looked around, trying to catch his breath. He heard the sound of footsteps approaching and spun around, ready to defend himself.
But it was Anna, her face etched with worry. “Holly, are you alright?” she asked.
Holly nodded, still gasping for breath. “Yeah, I think so. That was too close.”
Anna took his arm and led him away from the alley. “Come on, we need to get out of here before they find us.”
They walked quickly through the deserted streets of Vienna, keeping to the shadows and avoiding any signs of life. Holly knew they were still in danger, still being hunted by the same people who had chased him through the sewers.
“What do we do now?” he asked Anna, his voice low and urgent.
Anna bit her lip, thinking. “We need to find Major Calloway. He’ll know what to do.”
Holly nodded. He knew that Major Calloway was the only person he could trust. He had initially been suspicious of the British officer, but he had proven himself to be an ally in the search for the truth about Harry’s death.
They made their way to Major Calloway’s office, their hearts pounding with fear and anticipation. When they arrived, they found Major Calloway poring over a stack of papers, his brow furrowed with concentration.
“Major,” Anna said urgently. “They’re after us. We need your help.”
Major Calloway looked up, his eyes narrowing. “What happened?”
Holly quickly recounted his chase through the sewers, the pursuit of the unknown assailants, and their narrow escape.
Major Calloway listened carefully, his face betraying no emotion. When Holly finished, he stood up and strode towards a map on the wall.
“We need to get you both out of Vienna,” he said, pointing to a spot on the map. “There’s a safe house here. I’ll arrange for you to be transported there under the cover of darkness.”
Holly felt a wave of relief wash over him. He had been feeling so helpless, so lost, so alone in this foreign city. But now, with Major Calloway’s help, he had a chance to escape, to start fresh, to figure out what had happened to his old friend Harry.
As they left the office, Holly turned to Anna. “Thank you for saving me back there,” he said, his voice soft.
Anna smiled wistfully. “You’re a brave man, Holly. You’re the only one who’s willing to find out the truth about Harry.”
Holly felt a surge of pride at her words. He knew he had stumbled upon something big, something worth fighting for. He was determined to find out what had happened to Harry, no matter what the cost. And with the help of Major Calloway and Anna, he just might be able to do it.
Chapter 6: The Unlikely Ally
Holly stumbled through the dark alleyways of Vienna, adrenaline pumping through his veins after narrowly escaping an attack by unknown assailants in the sewers. He had nowhere else to go, no one else to turn to. He had to find answers, and the only person who could provide them was his dead friend Harry Lime.
As he approached Harry’s old apartment building, Holly noticed a figure slumped against the wall. At first, he thought it was just another drunk in the city, but as he got closer, he recognized the disheveled face and wild expression of Harry Lime.
“Holly, my dear old friend,” Harry slurred, his words barely coherent as he stumbled to his feet. “What brings you here?”
Holly couldn’t believe his eyes. Harry was supposed to be dead. He had seen his body with his own two eyes. But here he was, alive and well, albeit a little worse for wear.
“What happened, Harry? How are you still alive?” Holly demanded, unable to conceal his shock and confusion.
“It’s a long story, my friend,” Harry replied, gesturing for Holly to follow him inside. “Come in, have a drink, and I’ll tell you all about it.”
Holly hesitated for a moment, but he knew he had no other choice. He had to know the truth, and Harry was the only one who could give it to him. He followed Harry inside and was met with a scene of utter squalor.
The apartment was in shambles, with empty bottles and discarded cigarettes littering the floor. Harry stumbled over to a small table and poured two glasses of whiskey, gesturing for Holly to take a seat.
“Things haven’t been easy since I faked my own death,” Harry admitted, his voice heavy with regret. “I had to go into hiding, disappear completely. But I couldn’t just leave Vienna, not after everything that happened.”
Holly listened intently, trying to make sense of what Harry was saying. Why would he fake his own death? What was he hiding from?
“I had to run, Holly,” Harry continued, his eyes pleading for understanding. “I got involved with some very dangerous people, people who would stop at nothing to protect their interests. I thought it was just a game, a way to make some easy money, but it turned out to be so much more than that.”
Holly leaned forward in his seat, feeling the weight of Harry’s words. He had always known that his friend was a bit of a scoundrel, but he never suspected that he was involved in something so sinister.
“What did you get yourself into, Harry?” Holly asked, his voice shaking with emotion.
“It’s complicated,” Harry replied, taking a long sip of whiskey. “But it all started with the penicillin racket.”
Holly’s eyes widened in disbelief. The penicillin racket? That was a huge operation, one that involved smuggling the life-saving medication across national borders and selling it on the black market. It was incredibly dangerous, and incredibly lucrative. And Harry had been involved in it.
“But why, Harry? Why risk everything for something like that?” Holly demanded, his voice rising.
“It was easy money, Holly,” Harry replied, his eyes fixed on the floor. “And I was young and stupid. I didn’t think about the consequences, about who I was hurting. But when I realized the scope of what I had gotten myself into, I knew I had to get out. That’s why I faked my own death, to try and start over, to put all of that behind me.”
Holly shook his head in disbelief. He couldn’t believe that his friend had been involved in something so terrible. But he also couldn’t help feeling a sense of relief. If Harry was still alive, maybe there was a chance to make things right.
“But why come back now, Harry? Why risk everything to talk to me?” Holly asked, his voice softening.
“Because I need your help, Holly,” Harry replied, his eyes meeting Holly’s for the first time. “I know who killed me, and I need your help to bring them to justice.”
Chapter 7: The Final Showdown
The tension in the air was palpable as Holly, Anna, Major Calloway, and the team of policemen approached the abandoned building where the conspirators were holed up. Holly could feel his heart pounding in his chest as they moved closer to the entrance.
Calloway signaled for the team to move in, and they began to advance slowly, weapons at the ready. Holly stayed close to Anna, holding her hand tightly, as they followed behind the policemen.
As they entered the building, they heard a sudden commotion, followed by the sound of footsteps running away. Holly and the others followed the sound, their hearts racing faster as they went.
They soon found themselves in a large room, where the conspirators were waiting for them. Holly could see the fear in their eyes as they realized they were surrounded.
Suddenly, one of the conspirators pulled out a gun and fired a shot. The policemen immediately returned fire, and a fierce gun battle ensued.
Holly and Anna ducked behind a nearby table, trying to stay out of harm’s way. Shots were flying all around them, and Holly could feel the heat of the bullets as they passed by.
The sound of gunfire echoed throughout the room, making it hard to think or focus. But Holly knew that he had to stay alert and keep his wits about him if he wanted to survive.
In the chaos, Holly noticed that Major Calloway had disappeared. He quickly scanned the room, looking for any sign of the British officer. Suddenly, he spotted Calloway hiding behind a pillar, clutching his wounded arm.
Holly crawled over to Calloway, checking his wound and making sure he was still alive. Calloway nodded weakly, but Holly could see the pain etched on his face.
As the gun battle raged on, Holly realized that they needed to end it quickly before anyone else got hurt. He turned to Anna, who was cowering behind the table.
“Anna, we have to find a way to end this,” he said firmly. “I need your help.”
Anna nodded, and they began to search the room for anything they could use to their advantage. Holly spotted a gas canister in the corner of the room, and he realized that this might be just what they needed.
He motioned for Anna to follow him, and they crept towards the canister. Holly picked it up, and Anna grabbed a lighter from her pocket.
They moved quickly, trying to avoid getting hit by any stray bullets. Holly threw the canister towards the center of the room, where the conspirators were huddled together.
Anna flicked the lighter and tossed it towards the canister. As the flames grew, the room was suddenly filled with smoke and chaos.
Holly and Anna used the cover of the smoke to escape the room, leaving the conspirators behind. They emerged outside, where they were met by the relieved faces of the policemen.
The firefight had been intense, but thankfully, everyone had made it out alive. Holly and Anna looked at each other, still trying to process everything that had happened.
As they walked away from the building, Major Calloway joined them, his arm still wrapped in a bloody bandage. Holly knew that they would never forget this day, and the events that had led up to it.
But as they walked away from the scene, Holly felt a sense of relief wash over him. The truth about Harry’s death had been revealed, and justice had been served. He knew that his time in Vienna was coming to an end, but he also knew that he would never forget the experiences he had had there.
For Holly Martins, the end of this journey was just the beginning of a new chapter in his life. And as he walked into the sunset with Anna by his side, he knew that he was ready for whatever adventures lay ahead.
Chapter 8: Closure
Holly sat alone in the empty hotel room, staring out the window at the snow-covered streets of Vienna. His mind was still reeling from the events of the past few days. He had come to the city to visit his old friend Harry Lime, only to learn that he was dead. But what started as a simple investigation into Harry’s death had turned into something much more complex and dangerous.
Holly had discovered that Harry was involved in a major black market operation, selling diluted penicillin to desperate people in the city. The “third man” that Holly had been searching for turned out to be one of Harry’s partners in the operation. The man had killed Harry to protect the operation, but Holly had been able to expose the truth and bring the conspirators to justice.
But the cost had been high. Anna, Harry’s lover, was devastated by the truth and had left Vienna without saying goodbye. Major Calloway, the British officer who had helped Holly in his investigation, was left to deal with the aftermath of the case. And Holly himself was struggling to come to terms with what he had uncovered.
He heard a knock on the door and reluctantly got up to answer it. It was Major Calloway, looking tired but relieved.
“I just wanted to check in on you, old boy,” Calloway said. “You’ve been through quite an ordeal.”
Holly nodded. “Yeah, I have. But it’s over now, right?”
Calloway hesitated. “In a way, yes. The conspirators have been arrested and will be brought to trial. But the fallout from this case will continue for a long time. People will be talking about it for years to come.”
Holly nodded again. “I know. But I can’t stay here and deal with it. I need to go home and try to forget about all of this.”
Calloway placed a hand on Holly’s shoulder. “I understand. But before you go, there’s something I need to tell you.”
Holly looked up, curious. Calloway hesitated again, as if unsure how to proceed.
“Harry Lime wasn’t the man you thought he was,” Calloway finally said. “He was a criminal, a murderer, and a traitor. He sold out his country for profit and didn’t care about the people he hurt. You shouldn’t mourn him or try to remember him as a hero.”
Holly felt a sudden knot in his stomach. He had always looked up to Harry, even when he knew deep down that his friend had flaws. But to hear that he was a traitor was too much to bear.
“I don’t know what to say,” Holly muttered.
Calloway sighed. “I’m sorry to have to tell you this, old boy. But it’s the truth. And you deserve to know it.”
Holly nodded, still processing the news. “Thanks for telling me. I’ll…I’ll need some time to think about it.”
Calloway patted his shoulder. “Of course. Take all the time you need. And if you ever need anything, don’t hesitate to call me.”
Holly watched as Calloway left the room, closing the door behind him. He sat back down on the bed, feeling a mix of sadness and anger. How could Harry have done this? How could he have been so selfish and ruthless?
But then Holly remembered Anna, and how much she had loved Harry despite his flaws. And he realized that Harry had been more than just a criminal or a traitor. He had been a human being, with faults and virtues, dreams and fears. And maybe that was the real tragedy of Harry’s death. Not that he had been a criminal, but that he had been a person, just like everyone else.
Holly got up and walked over to the window again. The snow was falling harder now, covering the city in a blanket of white. He thought about Anna, and wondered where she was now. He wondered if she was thinking about Harry, or about the man he had really been. He wondered if he would ever see her again.
He didn’t know what the future held, but he knew one thing for sure: he would always remember Harry Lime, the man he thought he knew, and the man he had never really known at all.
Some scenes from the movie The Third Man written by A.I.
Setting: Postwar Vienna, Austria
– Holly Martins, a struggling writer of pulp Westerns
– Harry Lime, Holly’s old friend and a shady figure involved in criminal activities
– Anna Schmidt, Harry’s lover and a victim of his deceit
– Major Calloway, a British officer investigating Harry’s criminal activities
Scene 1: Arrival in Vienna
INT. TRAIN STATION – VIENNA, AUSTRIA – DAY
Holly Martins steps off the train, a small suitcase in hand. He looks around at the unfamiliar surroundings and takes a deep breath. Holly is a tall, lanky man in his mid-thirties with a mop of curly brown hair and a rugged charm.
Vienna… it’s been too long.
He walks towards the exit, scanning the crowd for any sign of his old friend, Harry Lime. But Harry is nowhere to be seen.
(to a passerby)
Excuse me, do you know Harry Lime? He’s supposed to meet me here.
Harry Lime? The name doesn’t ring a bell.
Holly looks disappointed, but he’s not surprised. Harry was never one to stick to schedules or commitments.
He heads out of the station and gets his first glimpse of postwar Vienna. The city is in ruins, with bombed out buildings lining the streets and people struggling to survive in the aftermath of war.
This is not the Vienna I remember.
He starts walking towards his hotel, his mind racing with questions about Harry and why he hasn’t shown up.
Holly Martins – A broke writer visiting Vienna for answers about his friend’s death.
Anna Schmidt – Harry Lime’s lover, struggling with grief.
Harry Lime – Holly’s deceased friend, a key figure in a dangerous conspiracy.
Major Calloway – A British officer tasked with solving Harry’s murder.
The Third Man – The elusive figure at the center of Holly’s investigation.
Postwar Vienna, Austria. The city is still recovering from the devastation of World War II, and the black market is thriving.
(Holly approaches Anna at Harry’s funeral)
Holly: Excuse me, miss. I’m Holly Martins, an old friend of Harry’s.
Anna: (tearful) Harry is gone. I don’t want to talk to anyone.
Holly: I understand how you feel. I just can’t believe he’s gone. Do you know what happened to him?
Anna: The police say it was an accident. But I don’t know. Harry was involved in some dangerous things.
Holly: What kind of things?
Anna: I don’t know. He didn’t tell me everything. He was always so secretive.
Holly: (determined) I’m going to find out what really happened to Harry. Will you help me?
Anna: (skeptical) How can I help you? I don’t know anything.
Holly: You knew him better than anyone. Maybe you can tell me something that will lead me to the truth.
Anna: (pauses, then nods) Okay. I’ll help you.
Holly and Anna sit in a coffee shop, sipping their drinks. Holly is eager to learn more about Harry’s life in Vienna, while Anna is still struggling with her grief.
Holly: What did Harry do here in Vienna?
Anna: He was involved in the black market. He sold penicillin on the black market.
Holly: (surprised) Penicillin? That’s illegal, isn’t it?
Anna: Yes. But after the war, there was a shortage of medicine. Harry saw an opportunity to make money.
Holly: Did he have any enemies?
Anna: I don’t know. He never talked about that kind of thing with me.
Holly: (thinking) What about the “third man” that I heard about? Do you know anything about him?
Anna: (shaken) The third man? I don’t know anything about that.
Holly: (noticing Anna’s reaction) Anna, do you know something about the third man?
Anna: (hesitant) I heard Harry mention him once. He said the third man was always watching, always listening.
Holly: (excited) That’s a lead! Do you remember anything else he said about the third man?
Anna: (shakes her head) No. That’s all I know.
Holly: (encouraging) It’s a start. Thank you, Anna. You’ve been a great help.
Anna: (smiling weakly) I just want to know the truth about Harry’s death.
Holly: (nodding) We’ll find it together.
As they leave the coffee shop, Holly and Anna are unaware that they are being watched by a shadowy figure in the distance – the Third Man.
Logline: A writer of pulp Westerns arrives in postwar Vienna, only to discover that his friend, Harry Lime, has died. With evidence of a “third man” at the scene, the writer uncovers a conspiracy that threatens to consume him.
Holly Martins: A struggling writer of pulp Westerns who is desperate for success.
Harry Lime: Holly’s charismatic childhood friend who is involved in a criminal conspiracy.
Anna: Harry’s lover who is mourning his death and struggling with her own guilt.
Major Calloway: A British officer who is determined to keep Holly from investigating Harry’s death.
Setting: Postwar Vienna, Austria
INT. HOLLY’S HOTEL ROOM – DAY
Holly sits surrounded by papers and files, trying to make sense of the evidence he has gathered.
HOLLY: (talking to himself) There’s something here. Something big. Harry wasn’t just a victim of an accident. There was a third man. I need to find out who he is.
There’s a KNOCK at the door. Holly jumps up, startled.
HOLLY: Who is it?
CALLOWAY: (o.s.) Major Calloway.
Holly hesitates before opening the door. Calloway enters the room, looking grim.
CALLOWAY: Mr. Martins, I have some news for you. We’ve found the third man.
HOLLY: (excited) You have? Who is it?
CALLOWAY: (pauses) I’m afraid it’s Harry Lime.
Holly’s face falls. He can’t believe what he’s hearing.
HOLLY: (in disbelief) What? That’s impossible.
CALLOWAY: (firmly) I’m sorry, Mr. Martins. The evidence is clear. Harry Lime was involved in a criminal conspiracy. He deserved to die.
HOLLY: (angrily) You don’t know what you’re talking about. Harry was my friend.
CALLOWAY: (coldly) Harry was a criminal. And if you don’t leave this investigation to the professionals, you’ll end up like him.
Calloway exits the room, leaving Holly alone with his thoughts.
HOLLY: (whispering to himself) I won’t give up. I’ll find the truth, no matter what it takes.
The camera zooms in on Holly’s determined face, as the suspenseful music swells. This is just the beginning of Holly’s dangerous investigation, and he won’t stop until he uncovers the truth about Harry’s death.
INT. HOTEL LOBBY – DAY
Major Calloway approaches Holly Martins in the hotel lobby.
MAJOR CALLOWAY: Mr. Martins, may I have a word?
HOLLY MARTINS: Of course, Major. What can I do for you?
MAJOR CALLOWAY: I understand you’re looking into the death of your friend Harry Lime.
HOLLY MARTINS: Yes, I am. I want to know what happened to him.
MAJOR CALLOWAY: I appreciate your concern, but this is a police matter. I’m afraid I’ll have to ask you to leave the investigation to us.
HOLLY MARTINS: I understand, Major, but I can’t just sit back and do nothing. Harry was my friend.
MAJOR CALLOWAY: I know how you feel, Mr. Martins, but your involvement will only complicate things. We have a suspect in custody and we’re working hard to get to the bottom of this.
HOLLY MARTINS: Who is the suspect?
MAJOR CALLOWAY: I’m afraid I can’t reveal that information at this time. But I can tell you that we have reason to believe this was not a simple accident.
HOLLY MARTINS: What do you mean?
MAJOR CALLOWAY: Let’s just say that Harry Lime was involved in some very unsavory activities. The less you know about it, the better.
HOLLY MARTINS: I see.
MAJOR CALLOWAY: Now, I must ask that you refrain from any further investigation. It’s for your own safety.
HOLLY MARTINS: I understand, Major. But I can’t promise anything.
MAJOR CALLOWAY: Very well. But remember, Mr. Martins, curiosity killed the cat.
Holly watches Major Calloway exit the hotel lobby. He’s determined to find out the truth about Harry Lime’s death, no matter what the cost.
INT. SEWER SYSTEM – NIGHT
Holly runs through the dimly lit tunnels, his breathing ragged. He glances back and sees his pursuers closing in on him. He turns a corner and nearly collides with a group of rats scurrying across the ground.
Come on, come on. Think, Holly.
He spots a ladder leading up to a manhole and scrambles up it. He pushes open the cover and climbs out onto the street. He looks around, trying to get his bearings.
Where the hell am I?
Suddenly, he hears footsteps behind him. He turns around and sees two shadowy figures approaching him.
SHADOWY FIGURE 1
You’re a persistent one, aren’t you?
Holly reaches into his pocket and pulls out a switchblade.
SHADOWY FIGURE 2
You’re not going anywhere, Martins.
Holly backs up against a wall, holding his knife out in front of him.
Who are you? What do you want from me?
SHADOWY FIGURE 1
We want you to stop poking your nose where it doesn’t belong.
SHADOWY FIGURE 2
And we’re not afraid to get our hands dirty to make sure you do.
Holly lunges forward, attempting to stab his attackers. They easily dodge his attacks and disarm him. They both grab him by the arms and drag him away.
Let me go! What are you going to do to me?
The shadowy figures don’t answer. They continue to drag him away, their grip on his arms tightening.
FADE TO BLACK.
Scene 6 – “The Unlikely Ally”
EXT. VIENNA STREETS – DAY
Holly is wandering the streets of Vienna, lost in thought. Suddenly, he sees a familiar figure stumbling towards him – it’s Harry Lime, disheveled and drunk.
Holly – Harry? Is that really you?
Harry – (slurring) Of course it’s me, old boy. Who else would it be?
Holly – But you’re supposed to be dead.
Harry – (laughs) Yeah, about that. Let’s just say I’ve been in hiding.
Holly – Hiding from what?
Harry – (leans in close) From the people who are trying to kill me, of course. And now they’re after you too.
Holly – What? Why?
Harry – Because you’re getting too close to the truth, my friend. You’re onto something big, and they can’t have that.
Holly – (angrily) What do you mean, “onto something big”? You mean your own involvement in this whole mess?
Harry – (shrugs) Guilty as charged. But you have to understand, Holly. I didn’t mean for things to get this out of hand. It was all just a game to me at first, a way to make some extra cash. But then things took a turn for the worse, and now…well, let’s just say I’m in way over my head.
Holly – (skeptical) So what do you want from me, Harry? Why are you even here?
Harry – (sincerely) I want to help you, Holly. I really do. I know I’ve done some terrible things, but I’m not a monster. And I don’t want you to get hurt because of my mistakes.
Holly – (hesitant) I don’t know, Harry. How can I trust you after everything that’s happened?
Harry – (pleading) Please, Holly. You’re my friend. You’re the only one I can turn to in all of this. Don’t let me down.
Holly thinks for a moment. He can’t deny that he’s curious about Harry’s story, and the thought of having an ally in this dangerous game is tempting.
Holly – (finally) All right, Harry. Show me what you’ve got.
Harry grins, and leads Holly down a dark alleyway. The shadows close in around them, and Holly can’t help but feel a sense of dread. But he knows he has to trust Harry, even if it’s the last thing he does.
FADE TO BLACK.
INT. ABANDONED BUILDING – NIGHT
Holly, Anna, Major Calloway, and the police team approach the abandoned building, guns drawn and ready for a fight. The air is tense and quiet, except for the sound of their footsteps echoing through the empty hallways.
Stay behind me, Anna.
What’s going to happen?
(trying to reassure her)
We’re going to find out what really happened to Harry.
Major Calloway signals to the police to surround the building. They split up and move toward the entrance, ready to storm inside.
INSIDE THE BUILDING
They hear the sound of footsteps coming towards them. Holly whips around with his gun pointed, ready to shoot.
Hello, old friend.
Holly lowers his gun in shock. Harry looks disheveled and drunk.
Harry? But, you’re dead.
(indicating his surroundings)
Do I look dead to you?
(tearful and angry)
You lied to us, Harry. You made us believe you were dead.
I had to disappear. But I never wanted it to be like this.
Major Calloway steps forward.
You’re under arrest, Lime. You have the right to remain silent.
I know. I just wanted to set things right before I go.
Holly approaches Harry, eyes filled with emotion.
Why, Harry? Why did you do it?
Money, Holly. It was always about the money.
The sound of footsteps is heard from the hall. The conspirators have arrived.
Holly, Anna, Major Calloway, and the police pull out their guns, ready for a final showdown.
Let’s finish this.
The conspirators emerge from the shadows, guns blazing. The room is filled with chaos as the two sides engage in a fierce battle.
In the end, the conspirators are defeated, and the truth about Harry’s death is finally revealed. Holly and Anna embrace, relieved that the nightmare is over.