Thursday, June 3, 2010

Sweet Smell of Success

Occasionally some classics' fame vary from "Oh my God, you HAVE to see this" to "Why haven't I heard of this?" One good example is Sweet Smell of Success.

J.J. Hunsecker (Burt Lancaster), the most powerful newspaper columnist in New York, is determined to prevent his sister Susan (Susan Harrison) from marrying jazz musician Steve Dallas (Martin Milner). He therefore covertly employs Sidney Falco (Tony Curtis), a sleazy and unscrupulous press agent, to break up the affair by any means possible.

It's interesting that New York City (and the whole movie) seems to revolve around Hunsecker, all because of his power in the newspaper business. But it's Falco who gets the story rolling. All because he's wrapped around Hunsecker's finger.

I admired the film noir feeling throughout. Curtis and Lancaster deliver strong performances, but for different reasons. Curtis breaks away from his earlier roles, while Lancaster shows a more sinister side to his acting.

My Rating: ****1/2


  1. A timely post considering it's Curtis' birthday today! I've never seen this and am currently experiencing the "why haven't I heard of this?" feeling you describe! No doubt I'll get round to it eventually.

  2. This movie is a shock - a half-century old black and white flick that feels (and looks) utterly fresh. It's an anything-but-sweet journey through Broadway's seamy netherworld of megalomaniac columnists, fawning flacks, hepcat jazz combos, philandering pols, crooked cops and world-weary cigarette girls.


Comments are appreciated. More so if they are appropriate.