RARA-AVIS: Re:speaking of Orson Welles...

From: Dick Lochte ( dlochte@gmail.com)
Date: 08 Mar 2008

A question about "The Third Man"--anyone know how it was explained in the radio series that Harry Lime survived the shootout in the sewers?

--Dave Z.

The series, titled The Lives of Harry Lime, offers an explanation at the beginning of each episode. Welles goes on about how Harry Lime may have died in the sewers (hope that wasn't a spoiler for anybody), but before that he led many lives. He ends the pitch with "How do I know? Because I am Harry Lime." Don't know if that's a suggestion that we're listening to a dead man or that Lime didn't really die. The plots for each story are pretty good, but the character is closer to Charteris' the Saint than to Greene's Harry. The 1950s TV version, titled The Third Man, starring Michael Rennie, is set several years after Lime's death, with no explanation whatsoever. In the show's pilot, set in Paris, the character is similar to the movie Lime. That is, he admits to having done unscrupulous things for money and, while he's stopped the really awful stuff, he's still pretty shady. In the subsequent episodes I've seen -- there's a DVD with ten half-hours -- Lime is a totally reformed international businessman with a main office in San Francisco and a fluttery, affected British assistant.

Dick Lochte

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