Sweet Smell of Success
DIRECTOR: ALEXANDER MACKENDRICK
CAST: BURT LANCASTER, TONY CURTIS, SUSAN HARRISON, MARTIN MILNER
There’s maybe just a touch of irony to the title, since movies don’t get much more acrid than this desperate, ruthless dark comedy, with crew-cut Burt Lancaster as J.J. Hunsecker, a powerful New York entertainment columnist who needs only say “Jump” for Tony Curtis’s toadying press agent to ask “How high?”, until one sleepless night when their tidy arrangement starts to unravel. Shot in sleek, sinister black-and-white by James Wong Howe, with Emile Meyer in a villainous turn as the crooked cop cooing “Come back, Sidney… I wanna chastise you.”
Sweet Smell of Success is screening as part of Metrograph A to Z, a collection of films we think everybody should see.