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Sweet Smell of Success (1957) Poster

Quotes

Sidney Falco: The cat's in the bag and the bag's in the river.

J.J. Hunsecker: You're dead, son. Get yourself buried.

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J.J. Hunsecker: I'd hate to take a bite outta you. You're a cookie full of arsenic.

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Sidney Falco: Maybe I left my sense of humor in my other suit.

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[holding an unlit cigarette]

J.J. Hunsecker: Match me, Sidney.

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J.J. Hunsecker: Mr. Falco, let it be said at once, is a man of 40 faces, not one - none too pretty, and all deceptive. You see that grin? That's the, eh, that's the Charming Street Urchin face. It's part of his helpless act: he throws himself upon your mercy. He's got a half-dozen faces for the ladies. But the one I like, the really cute one, is the quick, dependable chap. Nothing he won't do for you in a pinch - so he says. Mr. Falco, whom I did not invite to sit at this table tonight, is a hungry press agent, and fully up to all the tricks of his very slimy trade.

[Pulls out an unlit cigarette and faces Falco]

J.J. Hunsecker: Match me, Sidney.

Sidney Falco: Not right this minute, J.J.

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Steve: Mr. Hunsecker, you've got more twists than a barrel of pretzels!

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Sidney Falco: Every dog will have his day.

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Lt. Harry Kello: Come back, Sidney... I wanna chastise you...

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J.J. Hunsecker: What's this boy got that Susie likes?

Sidney Falco: Integrity - acute, like indigestion.

J.J. Hunsecker: What does that mean - integrity?

Sidney Falco: A pocket fulla firecrackers - looking for a match!

[grinning]

Sidney Falco: It's a new wrinkle, to tell the truth... I never thought I'd make a killing on some guy's "integrity."

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Sidney Falco: Watch me run a 50-yard dash with my legs cut off!

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Sally: But Sidney, you make a living. Where do you want to get?

Sidney Falco: Way up high, Sam, where it's always balmy. Where no one snaps his fingers and says, "Hey, Shrimp, rack the balls!" Or, "Hey, mouse, mouse, go out and buy me a pack of butts." I don't want tips from the kitty. I'm in the big game with the big players. My experience I can give you in a nutshell, and I didn't dream it in a dream, either - dog eat dog. In brief, from now on, the best of everything is good enough for me.

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Steve: The next time you want information, don't scratch for it like a dog, ask for it like a man!

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J.J. Hunsecker: Everybody knows Manny Davis - except Mrs. Manny Davis.

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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.

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J.J. Hunsecker: I love this dirty town.

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J.J. Hunsecker: Son, I don't relish shooting a mosquito with an elephant gun, so why don't you just shuffle along?

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

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J.J. Hunsecker: Here's your head; what's your hurry?

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Mary: [Sidney Falco is at her desk] Have you seen this? Otis Elwell's column today?

Mary: [Falco feigns disinterest; Mary reads the piece from Elwell's gossip column aloud] "The dreamy marijuana smoke of a lad who had the high-brow jazz quintet, is giving an inelegant odor to that elegant East Side club where he works. That's no way for a card-holding Party member to act. Moscow won't like it, you naughty boy."

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J.J. Hunsecker: Don't remove the gangplank, Sidney - you may wanna get back onboard.

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Sidney Falco: He thinks J.J.'s some kind of a monster...

Susan Hunsecker: Don't you?

Sidney Falco: Susie, J.J. happens to be one of my very best friends!

Susan Hunsecker: I know. But someday I'd like to look into your clever little mind and see what you really think of him.

Sidney Falco: Where do you come off, making a remark like that?

Susan Hunsecker: Who could love a man who makes you jump through burning hoops like a trained poodle?

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Jimmy Weldon: It's a dirty job, but I pay clean money for it.

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J.J. Hunsecker: President? My big toe would make a better President!

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Rita: What am I, a bowl of fruit? A tangerine that peels in a minute?

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Rita: Here's mud in your column!

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Steve: That's fish four days old. I won't buy it!

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J.J. Hunsecker: Well son, it looks like we have to call this game on account of darkness.

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Rita: It was Palm Springs. Two years ago. Don't tell Sidney.

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Sidney Falco: Sure, the columnists can't do without us, except our good and great friend J.J. forgets to mention that. You see, we furnish him with items.

J.J. Hunsecker: What, some cheap, gruesome gags?

Sidney Falco: You print 'em, don't ya?

J.J. Hunsecker: Yes, with your clients' names attached. That's the only reason the poor slobs pay you - to see their names in my column all over the world. Now, I make it out, you're doing *me* a favor?... The day I can't get along without a press agents' handouts, I'll close up shop and move to Alaska, lock, stock, and barrel.

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Sidney Falco: Don't do anything I wouldn't do! That gives you a lot of leeway...

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Mary: You're an amusing boy, but you haven't got a drop of respect for anything in human life.

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Sidney Falco: A press agent eats a columnist's dirt and is expected to call it manna.

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Leo Bartha: [to Sidney, of J.J] Tell him that like yourself, he's got the scruples of a guinea pig and the morals of a gangster.

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Loretta Bartha: What you do now, Mr. Falco, is crow like a hen. You have just laid an egg.

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Otis Elwell: I can't think of a good reason why I should print anything you give me. I can't even think of a *bad* reason.

Sidney Falco: [eyeing a pin-up] Suppose I introduce you to a... a lovely reason... who's both good *and* bad... and available?

Otis Elwell: [pauses] I'm not an unreasonable man.

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Mary: If it's true, J.J.'s gonna hit the ceiling.

Sidney Falco: Can it be news to you that J.J.'s ceiling needs a new plaster job every six weeks?

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Steve: [to Hunsecker, of his flunky] Tell me sir, when he dies, do you think he'll go to the dog and cat heaven?

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Sidney Falco: [to Susan] Start thinking with your head instead of your hips.

[pause]

Sidney Falco: Uh - by the way, I got nothing against women thinking with their hips. That's their nature. Just like it's a *man's* nature to go out and hustle and get the things he wants.

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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 a fresh kid Congressman, don't we?

Sen. Harvey Walker: Why does everything you say sound like a threat?

J.J. Hunsecker: Maybe it's a mannerism - because I don't threaten friends, Harvey. But why furnish your enemies with ammunition? You're a family man. Someday, with God willing, you may wanna be President. Now here you are, Harvey, out in the open where any hep person knows that this one...

[points at Manny Davis]

J.J. Hunsecker: [points at Linda James] ... is toting THAT one...

J.J. Hunsecker: [points at Senator] around for you.

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J.J. Hunsecker: Manny, what exactly are the UNSEEN gifts of this lovely young thing that you manage?

Manny Davis: Well, she sings a little... you know, sings...

Linda James: Manny's faith in me is simply awe-inspiring, Mr. Hunsecker. Actually, I'm still studying, but...

J.J. Hunsecker: What subject?

Linda James: Singing, of course... straight concert and...

J.J. Hunsecker: [glance flicks between the Girl and the Senator] Why "of course"? It might, for instance, be politics...

Linda James: Me? I mean "I"? Are you kidding, Mr. Hunsecker? With my Jersey City brains?

J.J. Hunsecker: The brains may be Jersey City, but the clothes are Traina-Norell.

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Sidney Falco: Do you believe in capital punishment, Senator?

Sen. Harvey Walker: [amused] Why?

Sidney Falco: [pointing to the phone] A man has just been sentenced to death.

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J.J. Hunsecker: Harvey, I often wish I were deaf and wore a hearing aid. With a simple flick of a switch, I could shut out the greedy murmur of little men.

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Rita: [to Sidney] Don't you get messages, Eyelashes? I called you twice.

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Sidney Falco: Kill me, push me through a window somewhere! I walked into this hallowed ground without knocking!

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J.J. Hunsecker: Sidney, conjugate me a verb. For instance, "to promise."

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J.J. Hunsecker: How do you spell Picasso, the French painter?

[Taps out three letters on his manual typewriter upon hearing Sidney's response]

J.J. Hunsecker: It's an item - I hear he goes out with three-eyed girls.

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Sidney Falco: I am tasting my favorite new perfume - success!

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J.J. Hunsecker: Yes, Sidney. You sound happy, Sidney. Why should you be happy when I'm not? How do you spell Picasso, the painter? One S or two?

Sidney Falco: Two.

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Sally: Where do you want to get?

Sidney Falco: Way up high, Sal, where the air is balmy.

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Sidney Falco: You're walking around blind, Frank, without a cane.

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J.J. Hunsecker: Now don't kid a kidder.

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Susan Hunsecker: Who could love a man who makes you jump into hoops like a trained poodle?

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J.J. Hunsecker: I like Harry, but I can't deny he sweats a little.

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Sidney Falco: Dallas, your mouth is as big as a basket and twice as empty!

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Sidney Falco: If you're funny, Walter, I'm a pretzel! Drop dead!

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Sidney Falco: You know, Susie, I've heard this woman-talk before. Why don't ya start growin' up, huh? Start thinking with your head instead of your hips. Uh, by the way... I got nothing against women thinking with their hips. That's their nature. Just like it's a man's nature to go out and hustle and get the things he wants. Susie, look at yourself. You're 19 years old. Just a kid, and you're falling apart at the seams. You tiptoe around on those bird legs of yours, nervous and incompetent with a fatality for doing wrong, picking wrong... and giving up even before you start a fight! Wait a minute. It's the truth, and the truth hurts. Come around some night when I'm not writin' your brother's column... and I'll revise that delicate outlook of life. To give credit where credit is due, Susie... that body of yours deserves a better fate than tumbling off some terrace. Susie... a bed is the best friend a girl ever had. Pleasant dreams.

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See also

Trivia | Goofs | Crazy Credits | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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