Sweet Smell of Success

Alexander Mackendrick | USA | 1957

Director: Alexander Mackendrick
Producer: James Hill
Screenplay: Clifford Odets, Ernest Lehman
Based on the novelette by Ernest Lehman
Cinematography: James Wong Howe
Editor: Alan Crosland Jnr
Sound: Jack Solomon
Music: Elmer Bernstein
Burt Lancaster (J.J. Hunsecker)
Tony Curtis (Sidney Falco)
Susan Harrison (Susan Hunsecker)
Marty Milner (Steve Dallas)
Sam Levene (Frank d’Angelo)
Barbara Nicholls (Rita)
Jeff Donnell (Sally
Joseph Leon (Robard)

Rating: PG Runtime: 96 minutes

Burt Lancaster and Tony Curtis star in this noir classic, an indictment of tabloid journalism that feels as relevant today as it did 66 years ago. Sweet Smell of Success features a Jazz inspired score paired with atmospheric cinematography. What you’ll see is morally bankrupt characters, corruption,blackmail, and a beautifully shot New York City (which looks stunning on this excellent 4K transfer).

The film tells the story of sleazy newspaper columnist J.J. Hunsecker (Lancaster) who uses his power and influence to sabotage the relationship between his younger sister Susan (Susan Harrison) and her jazz guitarist boyfriend Steve (Marty Milner). Hunsecker has a deep disapproval of the relationship and recruits publicist Sidney Falco (Tony Curtis) to do the dirty work.

Critics have praised the film for its sharp dialogue, direction and depiction of big-city journalism.

“One of those rare films where you remember the names of the characters because you remember them–as people, as types, as benchmarks.”
Roger Ebert.


Jul 10 2023


6:15 pm - 8:00 pm