Edit
Sweet Smell of Success (1957) Poster

Trivia

Burt Lancaster' blamed Ernest Lehman's withdrawal due to illness for the film's box-office failure. At the after party for the premiere, Lancaster threatened to beat Lehman up. The witty scribe replied, "Go ahead, I need the money."
Robert Vaughn originally landed the part of Steve Dallas, but was drafted into the Army before he could film any footage.
After Ernest Borgnine tried to break his contract with Burt Lancaster's production company, Burt Lancaster tried to force him to appear in this film in a supporting role, but Borgnine refused to do so.
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).
The character of J.J. Hunsecker is based on famed New York columnist Walter Winchell.
9 of 10 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
One of the musical refrains that is repeated throughout the film was used nearly note for note in Boogie Nights (1997).
The movie's line "I'd hate to take a bite outta you. You're a cookie full of arsenic" was voted as the #99 of "The 100 Greatest Movie Lines" by Premiere in 2007.
9 of 11 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Hunsecker's apartment building is actually the show-business office tower at 1619 Broadway, also known as the Brill Bldg., a famous part of Tin Pan Alley.
8 of 10 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Orson Welles was initially suggested for the role of J.J. Hunsecker.
At the Turner Classic Movies 2010 Classic Film Festival, screenwriter and actor Buck Henry revealed that he was an extra in the scene when Tony Curtis gets his hand caught in the door. Unfortunately, said Henry, he ended up on the cutting room floor.
8 of 11 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
After writer 'Ernest Lehman' (Qv) withdrew from the project because of a stomach problem, much to the chagrin of producer/star Lancaster, Hecht-Hill-Lancaster hired Clifford Odets for rewrites. The noteworthy writer reconstructed every scene. As soon as he had finished writing a scene in his hotel room, it was rushed to the location for Alexander Mackendrick to shoot. According to Burt Lancaster biographer Gary Fishgall, pages were distributed to the crew after they had been shot.
5 of 7 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
In the first few minutes of the film, Tony Curtis grabs a newspaper, and steps into a snack bar. The clerk working behind the counter is played by John Fiedler (uncredited). Fiedler went to several roles in film and on Broadway. He played Vinnie, one of Oscar and Felix's poker playing buddies in the Odd Couple (film). And Fiedler also had some voice roles. He voiced Winnie the Pooh, in several Disney films.
5 of 7 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
The original budget of $600,000 eventually ballooned to $2,600,000.
6 of 9 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Named No. 100 on Entertainment Weekly's list of the 100 Greatest Movies of All Time in 2013.
6 of 9 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
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.
4 of 6 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
In 2000, on their self-titled album, rock band Kitty Kat Stew released a song called "Cookie Full Of Arsenic". The song's lyrics relate to the movie and incorporates a snippet of its actual dialogue, featuring the famous line.
4 of 9 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
David White's movie debut
2 of 6 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider.
1 of 2 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Gossip columnist Elwell (David White) is also a character in Playhouse 90: The Comedian (1957). Both productions are from material by Ernest Lehman.
1 of 5 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
The producers considered Frank Sinatra for a role.
0 of 1 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Fred Karlin wrote the original score but United Artists rejected it as " too esoteric ", and drafted in Elmer Bernstein to re -score.
0 of 1 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink

See also

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

Contribute to This Page