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Sweet Smell of Success (1957)

Not Rated | | Drama, Film-Noir | 4 July 1957 (USA)
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:
Steve Dallas (as Marty Milner)
Herbie Temple
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


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:

4 July 1957 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Dein Schicksal in meiner Hand  »


Box Office


$2,600,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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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 »


Right at the start of the movie (2:34) when Sidney peruses J.J. Hunsecker's 'The Eyes of Broadway' column on page 21 of the New York Globe newspaper, it can clearly be seen that several of the paragraphs are repeated. Of the nine paragraphs visible, it can be seen that paragraph 7 is an exact copy of paragraph 2; 8 is a copy of 5, and 9 is a copy of 4. See more »


J.J. Hunsecker: Look, Manny, you rode in here on the Senator's shirt tails, so shut your mouth!
Sen. Harvey Walker: Now, come, J.J., that's a little too harsh. Anyone seems fair game for you tonight.
J.J. Hunsecker: This man is not for you, Harvey, and you shouldn't be seen with him in public. Because that's another part of a press agent's life - he digs up scandal among prominent men and shovels it thin among columnists who give him space.
Sen. Harvey Walker: There is some allusion here that escapes me...
J.J. Hunsecker: We're friends, Harvey - we go as far back as when you were ...
See more »

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User Reviews

Gripping and powerful, amazing cast and dialog
30 March 2002 | by 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.

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