Alexander MacKendrick’s Sweet Smell of Successwould easily rank alongside Billy Wilder’s Sunset Blvd. and Ace in the Hole as one of the blackest, nastiest and most acerbic film noirs ever made. The film lays naked the narcissism, greed and corruption-filled world of the powerful gossip columnists and PR men of New York. This incredibly photographed movie, where the Big Apple is portrayed as a seedy, ominous and claustrophobic urban jungle courtesy oblique camera angles and disorienting visuals, boasts of two stupendous performances. Burt Lancaster has given a volcanic turn as a cynical, malicious and misanthropic showbiz columnist J.J. Hunsecker who doesn’t think twice before trampling on other people’s lives, while Tony Curtis is equally electrifying as Sidney Falco, a parasitic and sycophantic press agent who'd sell his mother to have his news in J.J.'s columns. Emile G. Meyer, too, is brilliant as an evil, malevolent cop. The protagonists abound in apathy, deceit and complete lack of scruples as J.J. makes the fawning Falco destroy the life and career of a guitarist who has shown the temerity of dating his sister. This bleak, nihilistic and arsenic-filled depiction of the sleaze and intoxicating allure of power and money, also boasts of an absolutely terrific, at times even devastating, jazz score, that managed to further accentuate the tone and mood of this relentlessly dark and disturbing film.
Director: Alexander MacKendrick Genre: Film Noir/Drama/Urban Drama/Showbiz Drama Language: English Country: US