This quote is one that I heard a long time ago when I first saw the movie The Third Man. It’s probably the best known quote from the film and as our recent trip to Vienna brought a lot of the Third Man sequences to mind it seems timely to post it here.
Unfortunately our arrival in Vienna was one day too late to take advantage of the Third Man ‘sewer tour’, a promenade through the tunnels that allowed the films eponymous character to move surreptitiously between the ‘controlled zones’ of post-war Vienna. It had closed for the season so we’ll just have to go back again when it’s open!
This is a still from the closing scene of the film as Anna walks away from Harry Lime’s funeral and towards Holly “I haven’t got a sensible name” Martins:
… and this is a not too dissimilar pic taken on our recent trip to Vienna:
Finally, the quote. When Holly and Harry eventually meet on the Wiener Riesenrad (the Prater’s giant ferris wheel) Harry seeks to justify his black market sales of watered-down and ineffective penicillin that had led to the deaths of sick children:
“…in Italy for 30 years under the Borgias they had warfare, terror, murder, and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and the Renaissance. In Switzerland they had brotherly love – they had 500 years of democracy and peace, and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock.“