Big screen classics

Sweet Smell of Success

Lancaster and Curtis locked together in Mackendrick’s masterly tale of toxic corruption in the media in 50s New York.

Image from Sweet Smell of Success

USA 1957
Dir Alexander Mackendrick
With Burt Lancaster, Tony Curtis, Susan Harrison
Certificate PG

A corrosive study of everyday evil, this boasts superb performances by Lancaster and Curtis as, respectively, an egoistical newspaper columnist and the hustling publicist who is his gossip-hound. Clifford Odets’ and Ernest Lehman’s script provide dazzling dialogue, ingenious twists and acerbic moral insight; cinematographer James Wong Howe creates unforgettable images, particularly when filming nocturnal and crepuscular New York locations.