8.1/10
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141 user 125 critic

Sweet Smell of Success (1957)

Approved | | Drama, Film-Noir | 4 July 1957 (USA)
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3:05 | Trailer
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.

Writers:

Clifford Odets (screenplay), Ernest Lehman (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 3 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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 ... The Chico Hamilton Quintet
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Storyline

J.J. Hunsecker, the most powerful newspaper columnist in New York, is determined to prevent his sister from marrying Steve Dallas, a jazz musician. He therefore covertly employs Sidney Falco, a sleazy and unscrupulous press agent, to break up the affair by any means possible. Written by David Levene <D.S.Levene@durham.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

This is the story of J.J. - But not the way he wants it told! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Film-Noir

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

4 July 1957 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Sweet Smell of Success See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,600,000 (estimated)

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$7,336
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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). See more »

Goofs

In first scene in Sidney's office, secretary picks up a stack of magazines and newspapers, that change position and height of stack from shot to shot. See more »

Quotes

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

Crazy Credits

introducing Susan Harrison See more »

Connections

Referenced in 96 Souls (2016) See more »

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User Reviews

 
sweet smell of lie
21 February 2006 | by esteban1747See all my reviews

Press freedom is one of the best thing in any democratic society but it may sometimes produce/bring lies used for the advantage of powerful groups and/or circles. That is why this film was called in some Latin American countries "A Damn Lie". The excellent plot shows how someone arrogant, selfish, good writing and talking as J.J. Hunsecker (Burt Lancaster) was able to use various factors in the society he did his work in order to destroy any enemy, any adversary or any person whom he did not like at all. An example was the boy friend of his sister Susan, a working young man, devoted to music and strongly in love with Susan, completely discredited by JJ. Certainly JJ was a kind of a sick man, unable to accept any reason from any other person. He was born to have adversaries and not friends. To do all his work JJ needed snakes (not persons) as Sidney Falco (Tony Curtis), who behaved worse than a reptile, always praising JJ although he in fact hated him and creating the intrigues whenever there were necessary. Very good film and probably a lesson, the acting was also excellent, particularly of Lancaster as a tough columnist JJ and Tony Curtis as a low ethic man.


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