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: Sweet Smell of Success (1957)  ( 1957 )
cigar joe
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« : November 20, 2011, 07:33:38 AM »

Director: Alexander Mackendrick, Writers: Clifford Odets (screenplay), Ernest Lehman (screenplay), Stars: Burt Lancaster, Tony Curtis, Barbara Nichols, Martin Milner and Susan Harrison. An excellent Noir. Lancaster and Curtis are superb in their roles as sleazy columnist and press agent respectively who chew up the scenery with colorful dialog. The New York of the fifties is captured perfectly by cinematographer James Wong Howe.  



"The Street"



Lancaster plays powerful but unethical Broadway columnist J.J. Hunsecker who based loosely upon real life columnist Walter Winchell who was know as W.W. Anyway, J.J., coerces slimy and unscrupulous press agent Sidney Falco (Curtis) into breaking up his sister's (Susan Harrison) romance with a jazz musician (Milner). Barbara Nichols plays Falco's cigarette girl-girlfriend Rita, who Falco pimps off to another columnist in order to plant a derogatory story about Milner. The only two weak links are Milner & Harrison who come off looking lifeless but its understandable when Lancaster & Curtis dominate every minute they are on the screen.

J.J. and Sydney



Sydney and Rita in cigarette girl costume



Sydney pimping Rita off



Some famous New York nightclubs of the 50's i.e., Toot Shor's, and The Stork Club are shown in exterior location shots and their actual interiors were pains-takenly recreated in detail on Hollywood soundstages.

Anyway the pristine Criterion release is the way to go, the first disc has an excellent commentary by film scholar James Naremore. I haven't even cracked disc 2 yet.


Alternate Discussion continues here http://www.fistful-of-leone.com/forums/index.php?topic=1822.msg114779#msg114779

« : November 20, 2011, 07:38:54 AM cigar joe »

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This post gets Agnew's stamp of approval!


« #1 : November 20, 2011, 07:36:05 AM »

I remember liking this one but it didn't really stick in my mind. A rewatch may be in order.



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« #2 : November 20, 2011, 08:08:12 AM »

Same for me.

I read every now and then great things about this one, but I can't remember it being something special.


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« #3 : November 21, 2011, 01:10:15 PM »

A lot of the film is very good, but it loses its nerve at the end. Another not-really-noir noir.



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« #4 : November 22, 2011, 07:42:53 PM »

I'd say the dialogue/script, location work, performances all make this a special movie.

The bluray looks beautiful.



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« #5 : January 28, 2015, 01:08:24 AM »

A few past posts on this movie from the Film Noir Discussion Thread

http://www.fistful-of-leone.com/forums/index.php?topic=1822.msg114779#msg114779

and http://www.fistful-of-leone.com/forums/index.php?topic=1822.msg134602#msg134602


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« #6 : February 02, 2015, 07:00:26 PM »

So when I saw Sweet Smell of Success on TCM, Robert Osborne said this was one of the two movies that Tony Curtis made with Burt Lancaster, the other being Trapeze.
Well, I know that there was actually (at least) one other movie in which Lancaster and Curtis both appeared, though Curtis was uncredited. Any of you noirheads know the answer?




In Criss Cross, Curtis was Yvonne de Carlo's dance partner https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CyvrlAQfg8k


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« #7 : February 03, 2015, 12:53:26 PM »

Both also cameo in The List of Adrian Messenger.



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