Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Sweet Smell of Success

Sidney Falco is a seedy low-rent press agent desperate to be mentioned in J.J. Hunsecker's make or break gossip column, knowing it will be his ticket to the bigtime. In order to curry the all-powerful columnist's favor, Falco plots to destroy the reputation of a respectable guitar player currently in a relationship with Hunsecker's kid sister. Following several successful comedies at Ealing Studios, which include The Man in the White Suit and The Ladykillers, Alex Mackendrick crossed the Atlantic to craft this hopelessly cynical and impeccably shot noir. The ruthless screenplay by Clifford Odets and Ernest Lehman is endlessly quotable and features witty interplay and relentless dialogue which is acted to a hilt by Tony Curtis and Burt Lancaster, as the agent and journalist respectively, who are ideal in their roles.