Sweet Smell of Success details
|Starring:||Martin Milner, Burt Lancaster, Sam Levene, Barbara Nichols, Susan Harrison, Tony Curtis, Tony Curtis|
Sweet Smell of Success
|Run time:||1 hour 32 minutes|
|Rental release:||15 Apr 2002|
Most helpful review
The sweet smell of qualityBy johnnyfraudster from greater london , 23 Apr 2004
[Highly rated reviewer]This is a class act from start to finish. It is a very dark morality tale revolving around two despicable characters in career defining performances by Burt Lancaster and Tony Curtis.
It is utterly refreshing to have the two central leads play people with no redeeming qualities whatsoever; their hearts are black to the bone and all the film is all the better for it.
The themes of the film are also highly pertinent for today's audiences, as it revels in the sick, exploitative world of sleazy tabloid journalism. This film also contains some of the greatest dialogue ever written.
You should not be wasting your time watching turgid modern-day Hollywood drivel and watch a film that's not afraid to deliver something dark and daring. Avoid mediocrity and see something with substance, and that would be this.
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Definitely a 'must see' Lancaster filmBy TorpedoExocet (4 reviews) , 12 Jun 2013Burt Lancaster was excellent, and Curtis was very good. One of my problems is I hate 'nastiness or oppressive people', and this film had them. As a depiction of such behaviour, it was a truly excellent film. Whenever Lancaster is on camera, I am totally gripped by his stage presence.
Mis-Placed MelodramaBy a customer , 24 Nov 2012This film came recommended to me from a google search into classic films. I have enjoyed many older films as they tend to be more memorable than the more modern films that I have rented over the years.
However, this one fell short for me. The storyline is essentially over a powerful brother's possessiveness. However, I never felt involved with the story. His efforts to get another man to tear up his sister's relationship seemed petty, misplaced and boring.
The characters felt like they lacked dimensions, as did the story. I never felt like this was really film noir. Just a melodrama that wanted to be intense.
The instances of power and image are lost in a confusing muddle of a story that can be hard to follow and difficult to care about.
One of Burt and Tony's finest momentsBy fastfreddy (17 reviews) from Bishop's Stortford , 25 Mar 2011Cinematography, acting, script, music... all top notch... full of memorable throw away cutting lines such as:-
'Match me, Sidney'... (a cigarette light or a a challenge?)
'Your dead, why don't you get yourself buried'
file under great....
The Charming AssassinBy Samoza (231 reviews) from Reading , 17 Mar 2011There are certain actors who never get taken seriously throughout their career. Some dont really care, whilst others begrudge never getting the kudos they think they deserve. Tony Curtis is an actor who was seen pretty much as a pretty boy and comedian, his dramatic roles mostly snubbed during award season. However, on occasion he could portray a character well, as his Bafta nomination for Sweet Smell of Success shows. Curtis plays Sidney Falco, a sleaze ball promoter who is in the pocket of J. J. Hunsecker, the most powerful man in the New York entertainment industry. JJ controls what is hot and what is not, therefore Sidney has to do anything that JJ says to keep on his good side. Even if that means spreading false rumours and trying to split up young couple Susan Hunsecker and Steve.
Curtis as Sydney Falco is probably in one of his all time best roles; the charm and charisma that he used throughout his career is present, but it is turned to a dark edge as he manipulates and uses people. Throughout his film career you always felt that Curtis could be a smiling assassin, he was a little too good looking. Burt Lancaster as the powerful JJ is also excellent, acting as a modern day King, punishing those around him who do not do his bidding. As a double header the film is excellent, sparks fly between the leads as their relationship evolves. They dont like each other, but they need one another.
Unfortunately, the film is not really a two header and some of the other characters are awful. Released in 1957 Sweet strays into the world of Beatniks and jazz. Musically the film is a magnificent explosion of sound, but culturally it rings false. For my tastes late 50s and early 60s US cinema is a strange place that is not quite the Golden Era, but not the revival of the young directors of the 70s. Here the film falters because the female lead of Susan is far too wet to be likable. In one sense the film offers a modern woman, but her character is old fashioned in that she is not allowed to defend herself. This old fashioned feel jars with the darkly cynical and modern edge of the Sydney and JJ characters. Susans love interest, Steve, also feels old fashioned. He is the moral compass of the film, but personally I found him naïve, sanctimonious and pious. This did little to endear me to either Susan or Steve, therefore undermining the force of the film.
In seclusion The Secret of My Success is one of Curtis best roles, but unfortunately the films storyline lets him down. His actions are undertaken to drive a wedge between two characters that you end up wanting to split up just so that they would leave the screen. Not the response the film makers would have planned for.
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Well worth a viewing.By a customer from Wiltshire , 05 Mar 2011I saw this film when it first came out and rated it highly then. Having seen it again in 2011 it stands the test of time; a brilliant film. Great performances by Lancaster and Curtis. I've seen Curtis in films that have not shown him at his acting best; chosen perhaps more for his looks, but in this film his talent shines out. You loathe what it has become yet feel sympathy for him in this 'dog-eat-dog' world.