The Adventures of Harry Lime

This British radio program went by the name “The Lives of Harry Lime” stateside. It starred Orson Welles as Harry Lime, his character in the 1949 film The Third Man. The radio iteration serves as a prequel, revealing Lime’s adventures on an earlier chronological plane.

Each episode begins with a gunshot and Welles saying, in a sepulchral tone, “that was the shot that killed Harry Lime.” After a couple of sentences of exposition, this stock intro continues with Welles intoning, “Harry Lime had many lives. And I can recount all of them. How do I know? It’s simple. Because my name is Harry Lime.”

Each story commences with Lime narrating in a near-mumble and in a slightly glib, world-weary tone.

The British running dates of the series were Aug. 3, 1951-Jul. 25, 1952, with all 35 episodes airing later in syndication in the U.S.

Hear all 52 episodes of HARRY LIME!
The show was produced by Harry Alan Towers, with episodes directed by Towers, Welles, and Tig Roe. Besides Welles in the title role, the cast was Cecile Chevreaux, Sebastian Cabot, Keith Pious, Robert Reardsy, Diana Foster, Frances Hyland, Suzanne Cloutier.

As a character on the radio Harry Lime is marked by his amorality and unscrupulousness. He was a wanderer and deserter with little regard for obligations. Some have speculated that he served as something of an alter-ego to Welles himself, at least as he appeared during an ugly time in Europe, desperately seeking funds for various projects.


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