Sweet Smell of Success

New York City newspaper writer J.J. Hunsecker holds considerable sway over public opinion with his Broadway column, but one thing that he can’t control is his younger sister, Susan, who is in a relationship with aspiring jazz guitarist Steve Dallas. Hunsecker strongly disapproves of the romance and recruits publicist Sidney Falco to find a way to split the couple, no matter how ruthless the method.

Credits: TheMovieDb.

Film Cast:

  • J.J. Hunsecker: Burt Lancaster
  • Sidney Falco: Tony Curtis
  • Susan Hunsecker: Susan Harrison
  • Steve Dallas: Martin Milner
  • Frank D’ Angelo: Sam Levene
  • Rita: Barbara Nichols
  • Otis Elwell: David White
  • Sally: Jeff Donnell
  • Mary: Edith Atwater
  • Herbie Temple: Joe Frisco
  • Lt. Harry Kello: Emile Meyer
  • Patron at ’21’: Bess Flowers
  • Patron at 21 (uncredited): Colin Kenny
  • Leo Bartha: Lawrence Dobkin
  • Counterman at Hotdog Stand: John Fiedler
  • Patron at 21: Bert Stevens
  • Elysian Club Patron: Arthur Tovey
  • Waiter at 21 (uncredited): William H. O’Brien
  • …: Marion Gray

Film Crew:

  • Sound Designer: Jack Solomon
  • Author: Ernest Lehman
  • Executive Producer: Tony Curtis
  • Set Decoration: Edward G. Boyle
  • Art Direction: Edward Carrere
  • Original Music Composer: Elmer Bernstein
  • Makeup Artist: Robert J. Schiffer
  • Executive Producer: Burt Lancaster
  • Executive Producer: Harold Hecht
  • Director: Alexander Mackendrick
  • Screenplay: Clifford Odets
  • Producer: James Hill
  • Director of Photography: James Wong Howe
  • Editor: Alan Crosland, Jr.
  • Costume Design: Mary Grant
  • Sound Effects Editor: Robert G. Carlisle

Movie Reviews:

  • Nutshell: A better title might be The Sad Stench of Desperation. Was Burt Lancaster ever better
    than in this riveting late-fifties noir from director Alexander Mackendrick? That’s a tough
    question. But it’s a no-brainer that Tony Curtis’ performance here is top-level craft at its
    best (as in The Boston Stangler). The supporting cast also turns in some beautiful work,
    notably Susan Harrison and Martin Milner. This uncomfortable story breaks many rules
    and comes out the better for it. The jazzy score is perfect, setting the film’s nervous tone
    and fitting the period like a glove. A totally unique and daring film-noir for the period, and
    one of my all time favorites.

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