Sweet Smell of Success

Like a journalist with a nose for the blues, this film sniffs out a perverse reality behind the fantasy world of Broadway, where personalities are made, and characters assassinated, with the stroke of a pen. Coming late in the witch-hunt era, it is a scathing indictment of the misuse of the all-powerful word to destroy lives and dreams. Burt Lancaster and Tony Curtis are brilliantly cast in unlikely roles-Lancaster as the indomitable gossip columnist J. J. Hunsecker, who needs the dirty lowdown on his friends and enemies like a junkie needs a fix, and Curtis as Sidney Falco, the ingratiating press agent who delivers it on a silver platter. Curtis-as-Falco must have frightened his fans with a knowing portrait of this “man of forty faces, not one of them pretty.”

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