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Sweet Smell of Success

James Hill's production, locationed in Manhattan, captures the feel of Broadway and environs after dark. It's a no-holds-barred account of the sadistic fourth estater played cunningly by Burt Lancaster [from the novelette Tell Me About It by Ernest Lehman].

Cast:
Burt Lancaster Tony Curtis Susan Harrison Marty Milner Sam Levene Barbara Nichols

James Hill’s production, locationed in Manhattan, captures the feel of Broadway and environs after dark. It’s a no-holds-barred account of the sadistic fourth estater played cunningly by Burt Lancaster [from the novelette Tell Me About It by Ernest Lehman].

Failure to comply with his wishes means a broken career. Breaks in his column sustain the pressagent but for the mentions there are certain favors to be granted. To the p.a., the columnist’s dictates are law; if the favors include framing a young musician on a narcotics rap, that’s all right, too.

Flaw in Success concerns the newspaperman’s devotion to his sister. It’s not clear why he rebels at her courtship with a guitarist, who appears to be a nice kid.

Tony Curtis as the time-serving publicist comes through with an interesting performance, although somehow the character he plays is not quite all the heel as written.

Susan Harrison is ‘introduced’ in the picture and comes off well as the sister. She has a fetching beauty and shows easiness in handling the assignment.

Sweet Smell of Success

Production: Norma-Curtleigh/United Artists. Director Alexander Mackendrick; Producer James Hill; Screenplay Clifford Odets, Ernest Lehman; Camera James Wong Howe; Editor Alan Crosland Jr; Music Elmer Bernstein; Art Director Edward Carrere

Crew: (B&W) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1957. Running time: 96 MIN.

With: Burt Lancaster Tony Curtis Susan Harrison Marty Milner Sam Levene Barbara Nichols

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