New York City newspaper writer J.J. Hunsecker (Burt Lancaster) holds considerable sway over public opinion with his Broadway column, but one thing that he can't control is his younger sister, Susan (Susan Harrison), who is in a relationship with aspiring jazz guitarist Steve Dallas (Marty Milner). Hunsecker strongly disproves of the romance and recruits publicist Sidney Falco (Tony Curtis) to find a way to split the couple, no matter how ruthless the method.
Such a frustrating disappointment
I don't have all the words right now but this film is a work of art.
Good films always raise compelling questions, whether the format is fiction or documentary fact.
The best films of this genre always show a path and provide a takeaway for being a better person.
This movie, to me, was all about language. Every character had something to say. They had a joke, a catch phrase, a little bit of information, etc. This well very well written for a movie produced by a Hollywood actor. Tony Curtis plays a very good character to easily hate. I enjoy characters that are easy to hate, and Tony Curtis plays the perfect weasel thats a bitch for someone more powerful than him. And there was the beautiful female, who was the fulcrum to the whole movie. She was the main headline for eighty percent of the characters that had an impact in the film. I would love to watch this movie with a bunch of Italian taxi drivers for some reason
This film, directed by Mackendrick, takes place in New York City. But not just your everyday New York City; he uses the streets, the alley ways, places outside that have very little witness to potential crime occurrences, offices where shady deals are made, back rooms where private discussion happen that eventually come to light. Love is shattered, deals to make sure it happens for good are agreed upon by none other than the sweet innocent Suzy's brother who doesn't want to ever part with her. He wants to keep her in his life and be close with her because she's all he's got in terms of family, and he's willing to destroy the true love her sister had been lucky enough to find while still under his wing. So in order to do that, he makes deals with Falco, a publicist. J.J, Suzy's brother, is an extremely powerful newspaper writer who could destroy you with the dial of a few numbers or with a few lines off of his typewriter. Just as he was powerful with his influence, he was intimidating in his demeanor. He ran the show. But to his sister, and only to her, he was a bit of a softie. Which was very sweet to see. But in this sweetness and the brotherly-sisterly love he has for her, he poisoned their relationship with deceit, strong-armed Falco and the corrupt police force and anyone else writing in New York City at the time, and to what end?
"Sweet Smell of Success" follows scummy people doing a scummy job and exploits them for what they do. Sidney Falco is a publicist who works for a newspaper writer named J.J. Hunesecker. Sidney Falco has almost no regard for other human beings, and that's because his job demands it. It's a job that rewards his greed, selfishness, and backwards morals. He plays everyone against everyone, no one is truly his friend, but somehow no one is truly his enemy. Everyone is just viewed as a tool he can use to rise to the top.J.J. Hunesecker keeps everyone below him, because in order to stay on top in his job, he has to. J.J.'s fatal flaw, however, is that he cares about one person and let's that person control (or influence) his actions. And the fact that his fatal flaw is that he cares about someone more than himself obviously shows the business him and Sidney work in and the kind of person J.J. had to be to rise to the position he's in. But J.J. gets carried away in the one person he let's himself care about, and he becomes obsessed with her to the point that he won't let anyone else have her. But eventually J.J. ends up bringing everyone else down with him. The film satirizes the media by showing that they are even worse than the people that they chastise, and we listen to them because we blindly believe that whatever we see in the news is fact. This creates a cycle where they keep getting paid to be jerks because we keep buying their papers, and the more we buy, the more they can get away with.The film's fast dialogue and general fast pace resembles how fast Sidney's world moves and how fast he needs to think in order to survive in his job, and one of the major strengths of the film is how there is always something happening in it. This film isn't dull for a second and the fast, witty dialogue make it genuinely entertaining from beginning to end, which is something I can't say for most films. But beyond pure entertainment, nearly every character in the film (and there are many) is interesting and follows a believable character arc, and on top of that, it's commentary on the media makes it truly one of the best film noirs of all time.
J.J. Hunsecker (Burt Lancaster) is the most powerful gossip columnist writing for the New York Globe. He can make or break any entertainer or even politician. He is obsessed with his nineteen year old sister Susan and is determined to bring down her boyfriend jazz guitarist Steve Dallas. He has commanded press agent Sidney Falco (Tony Curtis) to split them up and is icing him out due to his continued failure to do so. Falco is a sleazy desperate opportunist willing to do anything and use anyone like cigarette girl Rita.This did poorly upon its release as the fans were repulsed by their matinée idols portraying ugly villains. Hunsecker and Falco have absolutely no redeeming values. The dialogue is beyond great. It snaps with fun craziness. Falco's sleaziness is delicious. I could do with a darker ending but the movie is already so dark. That would have been an even tougher sell.