Tuesday
10
Jan
7.30pm
Back Sweet Smell of Success
 
Tue
10
Jan
No film notes
class rating
Tuesday, 10 January 2012 at 7.30pm
Journalism
  • Satirical drama
  • 1957
  • USA
  • B&W
  • 92 mins.
 

Not a box-office success in its day, this mordant satire has rightly picked up admirers over the years, and is at long last recognised for the classic that it is. It contains key career highs for Burt Lancaster, as vicious Broadway columnist JJ Hunsecker, and Tony Curtis, as Sidney Falco, the hustling press agent totally under Hunsecker's all-powerful thumb. Lancaster's relationship with his sister Susan Harrison is particularly perverse and provides the plot thrust for the Faustian pact, which is still relevant in an era of dubious media ethics. Diamond-hard photography from the great James Wong Howe and a sizzling Clifford Odets screenplay contribute immeasurably to this film's brutal quality, and it remains a milestone tribute to its canny British director Alexander Mackendrick. It also contains one of the classic lines of cinema dialogue: "Match me, Sidney".

Tony Sloman, Radio Times Film Guide



Director:

 
Alexander Mackendrick

Screenplay:

 
Clifford Odets, Ernest Lehman, from the short story, 'Tell Me About It,' by Ernest Lehman

Cast:

 
BURT LANCASTER, JJ Hunsecker; TONY CURTIS, Sidney Falco; SUSAN HARRISON, Susan Hunsecker; MARTIN MILNER, Steve Dallas; SAM LEVENE, Frank D'Angelo; BARBARA NICHOLS, Rita; JEFF DONNELL, Sally; JOSEPH LEON, Robard
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