122 user 107 critic

Sweet Smell of Success (1957)

Not Rated | | Drama, Film-Noir | August 1957 (UK)
3:05 | Trailer

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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) | 1 more credit »
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)
Frank D' Angelo
Herbie Temple
Emile Meyer ...
Lt. Harry Kello
The Chico Hamilton Quintet ...
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 <D.S.Levene@durham.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


They know him - and they shiver - the big names of Broadway, Hollywood and Capitol Hill. They know J.J.- the world-famed columnist whose gossip is gospel to sixty million readers! They know the venom that flickers in those eyes behind the glasses - and they fawn - like Sid Falco, the kid who wanted "in" so much, he'd sell out his own girl to stand up there with J.J., sucking in the sweet smell of success! This is J.J.'s story - but not the way he would have liked it told! See more »


Drama | Film-Noir


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

August 1957 (UK)  »

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?


The narc in the film, Lt Harry Kello, is based on NYPD detective Eddie Egan, immortalized by Gene Hackman as 'Popeye' Doyle in The French Connection (1971). See more »


Microphone shadow during coffee shop scene with Steve and Susan. See more »


Sidney Falco: If I'm gonna go out on a limb for you, you gotta know what's involved!
J.J. Hunsecker: My right hand hasn't seen my left hand in thirty years.
See more »

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User Reviews

Gripping and powerful, amazing cast and dialog
30 March 2002 | by (Sydney) – See all my reviews

This film really brings an air of nostalgia when you compare it to current productions. There are no special effects or noisy music, but nevertheless you are riveted to your chair form beginning to end thanks to a wonderful cast, dialogue, direction and very nice Jazz music. Burt Lancaster gives again an unbelievable performance and Tony Curtis is perfect in the role of the ambitious small time thug that cannot get rid of his own contradictions. I only wish the studios would stop focusing on the teen market today and get inspired by films like this one.

26 of 32 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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