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   16,484 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 5 wins & 2 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
3 Good Reasons To Watch This Film 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)

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


Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

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:
One of the musical refrains that is repeated throughout the film was used nearly note for note in Boogie Nights (1997).See more »
Goofs:
Continuity: Susie's hair during the cab journey to her apartment with Sidney.See more »
Quotes:
Sidney Falco:Don't do anything I wouldn't do! That gives you a lot of leeway...See more »
Movie Connections:

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
111 out of 119 people found the following review useful.
3 Good Reasons To Watch This Film, 24 June 2005
Author: ccthemovieman-1 from United States

There are three reasons that movie fans should check this film out, if you haven't seen it yet:

1 - Outstanding dialog. I can't recall a film in which I heard so many clever film-noir lines as this one. Almost everyone in the movie has a unique way of expressing their feelings. It makes the movie one that you want to go back and HEAR again. Clifford Odets and Ernest Lehman wrote the screenplay and deserve special recognition as well as the people below.

2 - Fabulous acting, led by the two male leads: Tony Curtis and Burt Lancaster. Curtis is the star of the film with many more lines than anyone else, and many consider this to be his greatest acting achievement. I have no quarrel with that. It's one of the finest acting jobs I've ever witnessed by anyone. It's that good.

Lancaster is memorable and plays to his strengths as a tough guy, not only with his physical presence but his tactless and cutting verbal assaults. He has the best and most brutal lines in the film.

The minor characters in here, from the cop to the comedian to the cigarette girl to the young romantic couple are all top-notch.

3 - The cinematography. A big name in the film business, James Wong Howe, more than lives up to his reputation. This is beautifully photographed and looks absolutely stunning on DVD. I have watched hundreds and hundreds of black-and-white films and this ranks with the best of them. He captured nighttime New York City as well as anybody ever has done.

"Well," you might ask, "if this movie is so great, why haven't I heard more about it?"

Maybe because it never did well at the box office. It wasn't promoted a lot, from what I heard, and the storyline is not a pleasant one. Basically, this is about two immoral people who smear a nice guy so that it will ruin the romance between he and Lancaster's sister.

Lancaster plays an absolutely ruthless newspaper columnist who makes and breaks careers and Curtis plays his slimy press-agent who will do anything to please his powerful boss, including doing the worst of his dirty work.

Furrther details of the film can be read by many of the other fine reviewers here on this website, so no need to go into that.

I am not one who generally likes films that feature mostly nasty people but this was done so well that it fascinates me every time. A final tip of the hat to director Alexander Mackendrick. Why he wasn't given more films to direct is a mystery to me. Highly-recommended.

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (104 total) »

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