SWEET SMELL OF SUCCESS actualy has a very simple storytelling. This movie tells about a columnist who told a press agent to destroy his sister relationship with man he didn't like. There's something why this movie is excellent. Because that simple plot slowly turns into something complex. Now I know why this movie kinda flop when it released. Maybe because Tony Curtis played against his typical roles...
3.5, Splotches of verite styling over the Welles-ian frameworks are amusing. They mark a transition from one era to another, just as the screenplay pulls the rug out from under show business but still lets itself be seduced by its power structures. Sorkin def. thinks his dialogue is half as clever as this, but not even steady actors (excepting Burt) can keep their heads afloat. Though who would want to (not Curtis)?
This feels so current! A New York narcissist attempts to control a woman's body through smarm, aggression, toxic masculinity and fake news. The cast are on point, especially the three leads. Mobile phones mean this kind of film can't be made anymore - the whole thing would be done on watts app. We need to get creative with our storytelling if we want to bring this kind of charm and atmosphere back to movies.
A damning indictment on the vindictive, score-settling, Machiavellian nature of the news industry's predilection with smear and gossip. With great power comes great responsibility and with the platform to 'make news', integrity often remains in short supply; such power often can be a tool to further one's own agendas. Mackendrick's archetypal framing masters a representation of jealousy, control and revenge.
Essential cinema. Classic script by Clifford Odets from an Ernest Lehman treatment/story revels in the evil that men do for selfish purposes. Unsuccessful on release the film has found its fans over the years. Lancaster and Curtis are both remarkable in unlikeable roles embracing the pettiness and lack of morality in their characters. Exceptionally shot by Howe and scored by Elmer Bernstein. Simply great.
Seeping with good old American cynicism, yes hard work is the key to success as long as the hard work is full of plenty of grease! Snappy dialogue and clever characters the bring the best of classic American cinema along with subtle looks at contemporary American life being captured from corruption to patriarchy and authority. The only bother is the simplistic subplot which acts a means for the film's main themes.
Cinematography by James Wong Howe, music by Elmer Bernstein and Chico Hamilton Quintet. Now that so much is said about movies with political/social message and the most one gets are precarious exercises, here's how we get a milestone:with a voracious camera chasing and build the spaces around and between characters, running a permanent visual support of an extremely intelligent dialogue launched at the frame rate.