For a better experience on MUBI, update your browser.
1,681 Ratings

Sweet Smell of Success

Directed by Alexander Mackendrick
United States, 1957
Thriller, Film noir


In Alexander Mackendrick’s swift, cynical Sweet Smell of Success, Burt Lancaster stars as barbaric Broadway gossip columnist J.J. Hunsecker, and Tony Curtis as Sidney Falco, the unprincipled press agent he ropes into smearing the up-and-coming jazz musician romancing his beloved sister.

This film is not currently playing on MUBI but 30 other great films are. See what’s now showing
Sweet Smell of Success Directed by Alexander Mackendrick

Critics reviews

Despite all its formal virtues, Sweet Smell of Success seems to exist somewhere beyond auteurist canonization or even the traditional Hollywood studio stock. It’s not quite a brilliant one-off like Charles Laughton’s The Night of the Hunter (1955), but there is that same sense of singularity. As far as classic American cinema goes, there’s nothing quite like it.
May 24, 2018
Read full article
The film’s rank cynicism surrounding the journalism community can only be matched by cinematographer James Wong Howe’s deep blacks and blinding whites, which keep each serpentine character in its shadow until their time to strike. Every element gives heat to the drama until it boils over—then adds more.
September 16, 2015
Read full article

Related films