Sweet Smell of Success
Release Date June 27, 1957.
Running Time 1 hour 36 minutes.
The infamous world of talent agents and the entertainers they represent receives a scathing review in this remarkable film about the sleaze that makes this particular world go 'round. Tony Curtis stars as New York City press agent Sydney Falco, whose career depends on getting his clients mentioned positively in J.J. Hunsecker's nationally syndicated gossip column.
Falco is having major problems getting his clients publicity in Hunsecker's column due to a promise he made to Hunsecker (played with magnificent iciness by Burt Lancaster, clearly on top of his game) to break up the relationship Hunsecker's sister is having with an up-and-coming jazz guitarist. The only way to do this is to smear the boyfriend with veiled accusations of recreational drug use that drags in other press agents and a set-up involving an arrest for marijuana.
The slime is everywhere and ensnares everyone involved. Everyone in this film played excellent roles, and the dynamics between Curtis and Lancaster is a performance for the ages. You will not see better acting in any film I've recommended. Check out the Criterion version which includes an extra DVD with added bonus features, you will not regret it.