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The Smell of Success (2009)

PG-13 | | Comedy | 20 January 2009 (USA)
2:41 | Trailer
A comedy about manure salesmen in 1960s heartland America.


(as Larry Smith)



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Thaddeus Young
Chet Pigford
Jimmy St. James
Cleveland Clod
Agnes May
Early Dunchamp
Nelly the Nose
Agent Chestnut
Mr. Diehl
Mr. Rose
Mrs. Smith (as Aria Alpert)
Miracle Worker #1
Mrs. Diehl


When a tragic accident ends the life of Mr. Rose, the genius behind Rose's Manure Company, the livelihood of its loyal fleet of salesmen threatens to go, as they say, into the toilet. Enter estranged daughter Rosemary, a high-class- cosmetics salesgirl, who steps in to take control. She is not sure she has a nose for the family business, but she is determined to make foul into profit. Little does she know that a ruthless, slick-talking fertilizer rep is plotting a takeover. Whether she likes it or not, she must trust her top salesman, Patrick Fitzpatrick, to devise a plan to regain Rose's rightful position on top of the heap. Written by S. Dance

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Don't Hold Your Breath!



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for crude and sexual content, language and a drug situation | See all certifications »


Official Sites:



Release Date:

20 January 2009 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Manure  »

Box Office


$9,600,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


[first lines]
Agent Chestnut: [switches on recorder] Agent Chestnut, Federal Trade Commission interview. Please state your full name.
Patrick: Patrick Fitzpatrick.
Agent Chestnut: Mr. Fitzpatrick, were you aware of the financial difficulties at Rose's manure?
Patrick: No.
Agent Chestnut: Really? Because by all accounts and sales records, Mr. Rose considered *you* his Number 2. And you want me to believe Mr. Rose never mentioned it?
Patrick: Never.
Agent Chestnut: Well, you will not be allowed to operate or sell anything until I have competed my investigation.
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User Reviews

The Literal Smell Of Success
31 December 2012 | by (Fraggle Rock) – See all my reviews

The 'Smell of Success' seems quite an an odd title for the film but a couple of minutes into the movie, I realized that the makers were being quite literal. Anyway, it's nice to see that there's a film about the fertilizing industry in the 50s and one that doesn't rely on toilet humour. First of all, most of the jokes were quite funny. I laughed at a number of them even though a few of them were overdone (for example the breast augmentation jokes, the jumping from the plane etc).

The visuals are beautiful. Despite being sepia tinted and almost devoid of colour, they look quite artistic. Most of the frames look like beautiful paintings. The 50s look is also very well captured thanks to the fine art direction costume and makeup.

Billy Bob Thornton does a decent job as the head fertilizer salesman who suddenly feels threatened by sensational Rose and undermines her in his attempts. Tèa Leoni is amazing, proving her comedic fort once again. Frances Conroy is a delight. Mark Polish, Pruitt Taylor Vince and Ed Helm provide good support. Kyle Machlachlan too isn't bad as the smug antagonist.

I only felt that the story lacked consistency. It would occasionally delve into subplots that are never developed. As stated earlier, some of the jokes were overdone and felt repetitive. Given the concept, it could have been a funnier flick but for some reason the Polish Brothers restrain.

Yet, it's a decent watch. A film that certainly has charms with some classy creative toilet humour.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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