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on June 6, 2015
Excellent noir film about a gossip columnist in New York City in the 1950 on their private and personal lives and how they intertwine to an astounding degree. Well worth watching. Outstanding performances by Burt Lancaster and Tony Curtis.
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on December 22, 2015
The masters of HD at Criterion have done it again. This is a little gem of a movie.
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on December 24, 2012
Un grand film de Mackendrick, avec des Curtis et et Lancaster très confrontants qui nous offrent de grandes performances d acteurs dans une cite qui semble ne pas laisser place a a compassion.
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on October 26, 2014
Loved this movie with excellent performances.
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on February 23, 2015
Well acted! Curtis & Lancaster act well together (like in Trapeze). Excellent quality movie.
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on July 18, 2016
Rien à signaler
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on January 13, 2018
This is one of those handful of movies that initially fail to make a profit upon release, only to have its reputation grow over the years.
Directed by Alexander Mackendrick, a Scot best known for his Ealing comedies, and starring Burt Lancaster and Tony Curtis, SWEET SMELL OF SUCCESS tells the story of powerful gossip columnist JJ Hunsecker (based on Walter Winchell) and Sidney Falco ,the weasly press agent that will stoop to any low to get his clients names mentioned in Hunsecker's widely read columns. Lancaster acquits himself very well as the evil Hunsecker, but the film really belongs to Curtis as the sleazy Falco. After years of starring in forgettable pretty boy roles, Curtis finally got the chance to show off his acting chops and delivered a performance that should have gotten him an Oscar nomination.
Among the film's other attributes, the city of New York is effectively depicted as the city that never sleeps, thanks in no small part to to James Wong Howe's vivid black and white cinematography. And finally, the script by Ernest Lehman and Clifford Odets crackles with razor sharp dialogue. Don't miss this movie.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon May 14, 2014
In “The Sweet Smell Of Success” movie,Burt Lancaster and Sidney Falco star as two men (characters of Sidney Falco and J.J. Hunsecker) who work in media jobs and have certain “dealings” with each other. Sidney Falco is a Manhattan Press Agent who would like to gain more notoriety and popularity. J.J. Hunsecker is involved in a prominent and popular newspaper column. However,
Hunsecker only wants to help Falco in his career goals if he meddles in the relationship of his younger sister Susan and boyfriend musician.
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on November 10, 2003
Sidney Falco (Tony Curtis) is a ruthlessly ambitious publicist in New York City of 1957. He relies upon the city's most powerful gossip columnist, J.J. Hunsecker (Burt Lancaster) to print items that publicize his clients. But it's a game of give and take. Hunsecker expects something in return for his contributions to Falco's livelihood. As it happens, Hunsecker's younger sister Susie (Susan Harrison) has fallen in love with an up-and-coming jazz musician named Steve Dallas (Martin Milner), much to her brother's displeasure. Falco accepts the task of breaking up the relationship in exchange for Hunsecker's publicity,but even Sidney Falco doesn't imagine how far he might be willing to go to satisfy his ambitions.
"Sweet Smell of Success" is based on the novella of the same name by Ernest Lehman and was adapted for the screen by Lehman and Clifford Odets. I can't say if this window into the dog-eat-dog world of tabloid journalism and media hype shocked audiences in 1957 when the film was first released. I don't think that a bleak urban landscape populated by sociopathic careerists is likely to surprise anyone now, though. And I didn't find the film's famously biting dialogue to be especially hard-hitting. But the story is still a good one. Burt Lancaster's chilling performance handily stands the test of time. J.J. Hunsecker is a vile, hateful human being utterly devoid of any redeeming characteristic. He never exchanges words with anyone without making a threat. His character didn't impress me as realistic, because he is completely lacking in tact and discretion. His threats are never veiled. My feeling is that such a person would have long ago perished at the hands of those he tries to manipulate if he had not learned to occasionally be coy in his machinations. But Burt Lancaster is able to sell Hunsecker as an imposing, threatening figure in spite of the man's over-the-top behavior. Lancaster endows the character with such presence that the audience believes Hunsecker might be realistic. It's a great performance. The character of Sidney Falco was essentially a self-obsessed yuppie poseur before such a creature had a name. Tony Curtis' fine performance gave birth to a stereotype that we continue to see in many films today. So I'm recommending "Sweet Smell of Success" for the performances in particular.
The DVD: Subtitles are available in French and Spanish, and dubbing is available in French. One theatrical trailer is included.
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on January 13, 2004
Sweet Smell of Success is not only an example of a quintessential film noir, it is also a quintessential movie about New York City. As J.J. Hunsecker puts it so well, "I love this dirty town." This is a tough, gritty, uncompromising film with dialogue that crackles and pops (in some respects, David Mamet's Glengarry Glen Ross is a homage to this movie) with intensity as the various characters trade barbs with each other.
The film belongs to Tony Curtis and Burt Lancaster. Both were huge stars at the time and cast themselves against type in this movie. Naturally, the film tanked when it was released but it has since become a much admired and imitated film (Oliver Stone has said that a lot of his movie, Wall Street, was inspired by Sweet Smell). Curtis is note perfect as a slimy agent who'll do anything to get his clients promoted and climb the social ladder. This puts him at odds with the most powerful columnist in the city--J.J. Hunsecker, played by Lancaster. J.J. can kill careers with a few words and it is this power that makes him such a dangerous person.
The film also features stunning black and white cinematography that is moody and atmospheric. New York City has never looked so dark and foreboding. The camerawork is rich and textured and it is fascinating to see a New York City that just doesn't exist anymore. Watching this film is like stepping into a time machine.
The DVD is a bit of letdown. The transfer could be better. I noticed scratches and dirt on the print. And the lack of extras is unexcusable. C'mon, a retrospective documentary with film historians and Tony Curtis (who is still alive) would've been nice. The studio really dropped the ball in that respect. A classic like this one deserves more respect.
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