Sweet Smell of Success
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  • Rated: Unrated
  • Genre: Drama
  • Year: 1957


A powerful film about a ruthless journalist and an unscrupulous press agent who'll do anything to achieve success, this fascinating, compelling story (The Hollywood Reporter) crackles with 'taut direction and whiplash dialogue (Time). Bristling with vivid performances by Curtis and Lancaster, this gutsy exposé of big-city corruption is a timeless classic that cuts deep and sends a chilling message. It's late at night in the steamy, neon-lit streets of New York's Times Square, and everything's buzzing with nervous energy. But press agent Sidney Falco (Tony Curtis) is oblivious to the whirlwind of street vendors, call girls and con men bustling around him as he nervously waits for the early edition of The Globe. Whose career did gossip columnist J. J. Hunsecker (Burt Lancaster) launch today...and whose did he destroy?

Disc Information

Original Theatrical Trailer
Audio: English (Mono), French (Mono)
Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
Widescreen (1.66)

Cast & Crew

Burt Lancaster ... J.J. Hunsecker
Tony Curtis ... Sidney Falco
Susan Harrison ... Susan Hunsecker
Martin Milner ... Steve Dallas
Sam Levene ... Frank D'Angelo
Barbara Nichols ... Rita
Jeff Donnell ... Sally


TIME Magazine | April 21, 2009

Sweet Smell, which could have been offal, is raised to considerable dramatic heights by intense acting, taut direction (by Alexander Mackendrick), [and] superb camera work (by James Wong Howe).

Dave Kehr Chicago Reader | April 21, 2009

Mackendrick's nighthawk landscape is compellingly, poetically bleak.

Variety Staff Variety | July 22, 2008

James Hill's production, locationed in Manhattan, captures the feel of Broadway and environs after dark.

Chris Vognar Dallas Morning News | May 16, 2002

A lean, mean amorality tale that still goes down like a cookie laced with arsenic.

Andrew Sarris New York Observer | April 18, 2002

The main incentive to see this movie is its witty, pungent and idiomatic dialogue, such as you never hear on the screen anymore in this age of special-effects illiteracy.

A.O. Scott New York Times | March 15, 2002

Its pleasures are almost obscenely abundant.

Roger Ebert Chicago Sun-Times | January 01, 2000

One of those rare films where you remember the names of the characters because you remember them -- as people, as types, as benchmarks.


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