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Sweet Smell of Success (1957)

Not Rated  |   |  Drama, Film-Noir  |  27 June 1957 (USA)
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Ratings: 8.2/10 from 18,499 users   Metascore: 100/100
Reviews: 108 user | 99 critic | 5 from

Powerful but unethical Broadway columnist J.J. Hunsecker coerces unscrupulous press agent Sidney Falco into breaking up his sister's romance with a jazz musician.


(screenplay), (screenplay), 2 more credits »
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Title: Sweet Smell of Success (1957)

Sweet Smell of Success (1957) on IMDb 8.2/10

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Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 3 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »



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Complete credited cast:
Susan Harrison ...
Susan Hunsecker
Steve Dallas (as Marty Milner)
Jeff Donnell ...
Sam Levene ...
Frank D' Angelo
Joe Frisco ...
Herbie Temple
Emile Meyer ...
Lt. Harry Kello
Edith Atwater ...
The Chico Hamilton Quintet ...


J.J. Hunsecker, the most powerful newspaper columnist in New York, is determined to prevent his sister from marrying Steve Dallas, a jazz musician. He therefore covertly employs Sidney Falco, a sleazy and unscrupulous press agent, to break up the affair by any means possible. Written by David Levene <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


This is the story of J.J. - But not the way he wants it told! See more »


Drama | Film-Noir


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

27 June 1957 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Dein Schicksal in meiner Hand  »

Box Office


$2,600,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Writer Ernest Lehman wanted to direct but based on Burt Lancaster's failure as a first time director on The Kentuckian (1955), the producer went with veteran Alexander Mackendrick. See more »


During the theater confrontation scene, Hunsucker is writing on a small note pad, but the pad and pen suddenly vanish from his hands as he and Falco move up onto the stage. See more »


J.J. Hunsecker: Sidney, this syrup you're giving out with... you pour over waffles, not J.J. Hunsecker.
See more »

Crazy Credits

introducing Susan Harrison. See more »


Featured in AFI's 100 Years... 100 Heroes & Villains (2003) See more »

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User Reviews

Sinister and terrifying
19 March 2004 | by (Twentynine Palms, CA) – See all my reviews

After reading Neal Gabler's biography of columnnist Walter Winchell, I watched this again with new eyes. Lancaster captures not the mannerisms or speech patterns of Winchell, but the sense of menace and terror the man held over anybody who wanted to be somebody in New York or the entertainment business. J.J. Hunsecker reminds me of a glowing radioactive ball of plutonium, terrible in its simple existence. He can make or break you with a single word, and everyone knows he can and will without a single look back. The film captures perfectly the smoky nightclub world of 21 and the Stork Club along with the grubby little burrow belonging to Sidney Falco, press agent and repellent social climber. Great movie and by far, Curtis's best performance.

35 of 42 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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