IMDb > Sweet Smell of Success (1957)
Sweet Smell of Success
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Sweet Smell of Success (1957) More at IMDbPro »

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Sweet Smell of Success -- Trailer for the classic drama Sweet Smell of Success, starring Burt Lancaster and Tony Curtis.

Overview

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8.2/10   15,798 votes »
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Writers:
Clifford Odets (screenplay) and
Ernest Lehman (screenplay) ...
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for Sweet Smell of Success on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
27 June 1957 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
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 »
Plot:
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. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Awards:
Nominated for BAFTA Film Award. Another 2 wins & 2 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Burt Lancaster is scary! See more (104 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Burt Lancaster ... J.J. Hunsecker

Tony Curtis ... Sidney Falco
Susan Harrison ... Susan Hunsecker

Martin Milner ... Steve Dallas (as Marty Milner)
Jeff Donnell ... Sally
Sam Levene ... Frank D' Angelo
Joe Frisco ... Herbie Temple

Barbara Nichols ... Rita
Emile Meyer ... Lt. Harry Kello
Edith Atwater ... Mary
The Chico Hamilton Quintet ... Themselves
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Nick Adams ... Customer at hot-dog stand (uncredited)
Jay Adler ... Manny Davis (uncredited)
Nicky Blair ... Patron at Toots Shor's (uncredited)
Ralph Brooks ... Patron at 21 (uncredited)
Robert Carson ... Lou - Headwaiter at Toots Shor's (uncredited)
Lewis Charles ... Al Evans (uncredited)
Buddy Clark ... Bassist in Chico Hamilton Quintet (uncredited)
Joe Di Reda ... Patron at Toots Shor's (uncredited)
Lawrence Dobkin ... Leo Bartha (uncredited)

John Fiedler ... Counterman at Hot Dog Stand (uncredited)
William Forrest ... Sen. Harvey Walker (uncredited)
Joseph Forte ... Waiter at Toots Shor's (uncredited)

Robert Fuller ... Minor Role (uncredited)

Joe Gray ... Patron at 21 Club (uncredited)
Chico Hamilton ... Himself - Chico Hamilton Quintet (uncredited)
James Hill ... Man Outside Theatre (uncredited)
Paul Horn ... Himself - Chico Hamilton Quintet (uncredited)
Charles Jordan ... Man at Hot Dog Stand (uncredited)
Fred Katz ... Himself - Chico Hamilton Quintet (uncredited)
Mike Lally ... Patron at Toots Shor's (uncredited)
Joseph Leon ... Joe Robard (uncredited)
Thomas Martin ... Waiter at 21 (uncredited)
Forbes Murray ... Patron at Toots Shor's (uncredited)
William H. O'Brien ... Waiter at 21 (uncredited)
Clifford Odets ... Man Outside Theatre (uncredited)
Bill Raisch ... Patron at Toots Shor's (uncredited)
Jane Ross ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Autumn Russell ... Linda James (uncredited)
Charles Sherlock ... Bartender at Toots Shor's (uncredited)
Carson Smith ... Himself (uncredited)
Queenie Smith ... Mildred Tam (uncredited)
Bert Stevens ... Patron at 21 (uncredited)
Arthur Tovey ... Nightclub Patron (uncredited)

Lurene Tuttle ... Loretta Bartha (uncredited)
Harry Tyler ... Coffee Shop Counter Man (uncredited)
Philip Van Zandt ... Radio Program Director (uncredited)

David White ... Otis Elwell (uncredited)

H.M. Wynant ... Patron at Toots Shor's (uncredited)
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Directed by
Alexander Mackendrick 
 
Writing credits
Clifford Odets (screenplay) and
Ernest Lehman (screenplay)

Ernest Lehman (novella)

Alexander Mackendrick  uncredited

Produced by
James Hill .... producer
Tony Curtis .... executive producer (uncredited)
Harold Hecht .... executive producer (uncredited)
Burt Lancaster .... executive producer (uncredited)
 
Original Music by
Elmer Bernstein 
 
Cinematography by
James Wong Howe (photographed by)
 
Art Direction by
Edward Carrere 
 
Set Decoration by
Edward G. Boyle  (as Edward Boyle)
 
Costume Design by
Mary Grant 
 
Makeup Department
Robert J. Schiffer .... makeup artist (as Robert Schiffer)
 
Production Management
Richard McWhorter .... production manager
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Richard Maybery .... assistant director
 
Sound Department
Robert G. Carlisle .... sound effects editor (as Robert Carlisle)
Jack Solomon .... sound recordist
 
Editorial Department
Alan Crosland Jr. .... editorial supervisor
 
Music Department
Elmer Bernstein .... conductor
Lloyd Young .... music editor
John Pisano .... musician: guitar dubbing, Martin Milner (uncredited)
 
Other crew
Harold Hecht .... presenter (as Hecht)
James Hill .... presenter (as Hill)
Burt Lancaster .... presenter (as Lancaster)
Thom Conroy .... dialogue director (uncredited)
Ruth McCrough Miller .... production assistant (uncredited)
 
Crew believed to be complete


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Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
96 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.66 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Westrex Recording System)
Certification:
Australia:PG | Finland:K-16 | Netherlands:16 (original rating) (1958) | Sweden:15 | UK:PG | UK:A (original rating) | USA:Not Rated | USA:Approved (PCA #18585) | USA:TV-PG (TV rating) | West Germany:16 (f)

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Orson Welles was initially suggested for the role of J.J. Hunsecker.See more »
Goofs:
Continuity: Susie's hair during the cab journey to her apartment with Sidney.See more »
Quotes:
J.J. Hunsecker:Harvey, I often wish I were dead and wore a hearing aid. With a simple flick of a switch, I could shut out the greedy murmur of little men.See more »
Movie Connections:
References The Mountain (1956)See more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
95 out of 98 people found the following review useful.
Burt Lancaster is scary!, 28 December 2003
Author: bregund from San Francisco

Remember how scary Robert Mitchum was in Night of the Hunter? Or Darth Vader in the first Star Wars movie? Well Burt Lancaster as J.J. Hunsecker is right up there with them. With his clipped words, ice-cold gaze, rigid neck and steel-rimmed glasses, he looks like he's ready to break people in half with just the power of his voice. He drifts through the film like an unstoppable barge, commanding every scene with just the turn of his head. Seldom is there such a powerful screen presence.

Lancaster's performance alone is worth seeing this film, but the writing cracks like a whip. This is some of the best writing I've ever seen in any film, recalling the brilliant writing of All About Eve or Citizen Kane: "Come back Sidney, I want to chastise you some more", "turn around and look: is she still standing there?", "you're a cookie full of arsenic", "I see your brother's words coming out of your mouth like a ventriloquist's dummy", "I would never use an elephant gun to shoot a mosquito". Over and over, the witty dialogue slices through the scenes like a razor. You have to see this film to believe it.

Tony Curtis was never better as a sleazy PR guy as he pimps his secretary, slobbers at J.J.'s heels like an obsequious mutt, and colludes with the crooked cops to frame people. Within this maelstrom of cynicism and anger are two young lovers, driven apart by J.J.'s overbearing presence.

The photography is excellent, you can almost smell the wet NYC streets. Black and white never looked better.

This is an excellent film, and highly recommended. I wish they still made movies like this.

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