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Sweet Smell of Success review

Updated on May 30, 2013

“Sweet Smell of Success” is a 1957 movie directed by Alexander Mackendrick, written by Clifford Odets and Ernest Lehman and the novella was written by Ernest Lehman. The movie is about a Broadway agent trying to succeed by being talked about in a famous newspaper. Burt Lancaster plays J.J Hunsecker, the famous columnist and Tony Curtis plays Sidney Falco, a press agent looking for a way to put his name in the famous newspaper by any means necessary. J.J Hunsecker does not like the fact that his sister, Susan Hunsecker played by Susan Harrison, is dating a musician named Steve Dallas played by Martin Milner. He hires Sidney to make up a rumor about the musician so that the sister will break up with him. As much as it hurts him to make up a lie to get his name on the paper, he does it anyway. In the scene where Sidney and Susan are talking about Steven in the apartment lobby and she tells him that Steven is the first man that she ever loved, it looked like sparked jealousy in him to start a career ruining rumor for them to break up and then he can try to date her and be known in New York as the best press agent ever.

In the scene where he tries to tell J.J about something, he tells him “you’re dead son, get yourself buried”, because he was supposed to break Susan and Steven for him, but failed. Sidney Falco is also known for lying to the press and people do not believe at times and think he is all

washed up. I have never heard or watched this movie before and I actually thought this film was kind of a murder mystery film because it was in black and white and I thought that Tony Curtis’s character was a detective looking for a murder case about celebrity killing another celebrity to become more famous. However the film was very nice and very interesting to watch. The movie kind of reminded me of watching “Casablanca” because of Susan and Steven’s relationship. The intensity and desperation in Sidney Falco were familiar, because people in journalism or anything that they do can be able to do anything just to be known and to get their name in the papers or on TV. I have never heard of the director or the writers before, but I enjoyed the dialogue, storyline and direction. It is like nowadays in the music world that a journalist or press agent can destroy a musician’s career by words that they made up, because they do not like that musician; just like Sidney did not like Steven. History does retell stories of real life.

Movie trailer


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