Baseball Toaster The Griddle
A place where a man can slow down to a walk and live his life full measure, but he has to keep his watch on Pacific Time.
Frozen Toast
Google Search
The Griddle

02  01 

12  11  10  09  08  07 
06  05  04  03  02  01 

12  11  10  09  08  07 
06  05  04  03  02  01 

12  11  10  09  08  07 
06  05  04  03  02  01 

12  10  07 
06  05  04  03 
Suggestions, comments, ring the catcher's interference alarm?

Email me at

The stuff I keep track of
Random Game Callbacks

Select a date:

Personal favorites that I wrote
Walking where the Third Man walked
2008-01-21 19:00
by Bob Timmermann

Before I finally put my European trip to bed here and go back to the world of leather-covered spheroids, I'd just post a few pictures from one of my favorite parts of my trip, a walking tour of Vienna that covered many of the scenes in one of my favorite films, "The Third Man." This 1949 film directed by Carol Reed and written by Graham Greene was set in postwar Vienna and was shot mostly on location (some of it was filmed in London) and the ruins of the once proud city are as much the star of the films as Orson Welles and Joseph Cotten are.


The group that led the tours, Vienna Walks, is run by a family of Timmermanns and the youngest member of the family, Christopher, led my tour. This is a family that really knows everything about this film.

(As an aside, when I told Christopher that I too was a Timmermann, he asked me "Do you spell it with two Ns at the end?")

The tour starts at 4 pm. Which unfortunately limited the number of photos I could take. Well, I could take a lot of photos, it's just that most of them don't look very good.

Not on the tour is the Riesenrad, the Ferris Wheel in the Prater amusement park. It is where one of the film's most memorable scenes takes place. (The YouTube video of it has Spanish subtitles.)

Sadly, the Riesenrad was closed for regular maintenance when I made my visit, but it looks pretty much the same today.


The climax of the movie involves a chase through the Vienna sewer system. You don't go down there on the tour because: 1) it's really small 2) it's really smelly and 3) most of those scenes were filmed on a set in London. But there is a shot of a tunnel that is supposed to be an entrance to the sewers.


That is actually not a sewer, but rather a walled in portion of the Wien River (it's not just L.A. that paves it rivers). And here is what that looks like today although viewed from the other direction.


When Holly Martins (played by Joseph Cotten) arrives in Vienna, he tells a soldier that he's headed to his friend Harry Lime's apartment at 15 Stiftgasse. However, director Carol Reed had to use a different building.



Now (and it's a bit dark):


Finally, there is the doorway where Harry Lime first appears, revealed only by the light of an open window across from the doorway. This is what it looked like in the film right before the light comes on. The cat in the bottom of the frame "recognizes" Harry Lime.


When I tried to shoot the same doorway as it looks today, there were "issues." Such as my inability to get my camera set correctly. So you'll have to take my word that this is the same doorway.


There are many other scenes from the film that you get to visit: the Hotel Sacher (where Holly Martins stays in the film and where Graham Greene lived at the time), the Cafe Mozart, and the Kohlmarkt where the authorities set a trap to capture Harry Lime. Not that my shots came out. Can I curse the darkness?

I didn't have time to visit Vienna's Central Cemetery, the site of the famous final scene in the film.

2008-01-21 20:17:40
1.   JL25and3
I hope someone brought a zither along on the tour.
2008-01-21 21:04:22
2.   Eric Stephen
Good to have you back, Bob. I will now add "Third Man" to my Blockbuster queue.
2008-01-21 22:01:06
3.   Philip Michaels
"I'm just a hack writer who drinks too much and falls in love with girls..."

My favorite line in a movie full of favorite lines.

2008-01-21 23:59:56
4.   dzzrtRatt
Good show!

When my son was six...six, mind you...he took some of my family on a "Vertigo" tour of San Francisco. This was almost as fun. "The Third Man" is sometimes my favorite movie. Always in the top ten.

"They talk about the people and the proletariat, I talk about the suckers and the mugs - it's the same thing. They have their five-year plans, so have I." -- a much better line than the more famous "cuckoo clock" remark.

2008-01-22 08:54:44
5.   bhsportsguy
I can remember driving some people visiting LA for the first time around Culver City and pointing out location shots from CHIPs.
2008-01-22 09:55:41
6.   Bob Timmermann
You mean you drove them on the uncompleted sections of the 118 and 210 Freeways?
2008-01-22 10:12:54
7.   Humma Kavula
I never knew the old Vienna before the war with its glamour and easy charm...

...I also went on the Third Man walking tour. When we came home, people said, "Oh, Vienna. Did you see the art? The palaces? Isn't the food great? What did you see?" And we said, "We saw the sewer."

P.S. The Third Man is one of the movies that you can say is the greatest movie ever made and no one can look at you funny.

2008-01-22 11:49:09
8.   bhsportsguy
6 Actually, all I did was drive them by Jefferson Bowl and the "Marina Freeway."
2008-01-22 15:49:56
9.   ibleedbloo
Peter Gammons may not read the Griddle, but I check in a few times a day...

...thanks Bob

2008-01-22 17:34:47
10.   LAT
The whole Timmermann guide thing. Did you know that before you booked the tour? Are they related? Did you play geneology 101? Were you shocked when you found out. Is this all a joke I am not getting? Cause thats a pretty big/strange coincidence.
2008-01-22 17:56:09
11.   Bob Timmermann
As far as we could tell, we weren't related. Our families were both originally from Northern Germany, but mine went to the U.S. and the other family went south to Austria.

Timmermann is a German name, not an Austrian one I learned.

I had read before that there was a family of Timmermanns who gave tours of Vienna and specialized in "The Third Man."

Comment status: comments have been closed. Baseball Toaster is now out of business.