Thursday, March 09, 2006

#8: Sweet Smell of Success (Alexander Mackendrick, 1957)


Because it's matchless, Sidney.

8 comments:

Nick Davis said...

Ahhhhhh..... wasn't even one of my guesses. I don't dislike this film at all, though I do remember having a Good Night, and Good Luck.-style sense that the aesthetic was commanding disproportionate attention, and the cynicism was so total it was tough for me. But I've always meant to go back to it. (Luckily, I saw it in 35mm, but it only showed once, so I've kind of put it off in hopes of finding it on a big screen again.)

This list is such a fabulous combo of echoed pleasures and sensational prompts.

tim r said...

You know the best literary comparison for this movie? Volpone. Same cynicism, same parasitic central relationship, same dull virtuous romantic leads. I'm sure it's been said many a time before...

JavierAG said...

I could swear Tony Curtis is stalking me.

FilmFan said...

No argument from me at all on this one. Sweet Smell of Success makes my All Time Top 20 too.

David Shultz said...

I don't think I've ever heard of this one. Nor had I heard of La ronde! Interesting..

Y Kant Goran Rite said...

See, I liked this one, really didn't love it (same with Good Night and Good Luck, for that matter). Noir's my favorite thing in the world but this one really didn't grab me. I am dying for someone to explain to me what exactly is so sensational about it that it keeps popping up in all-time best lists.

tim r said...

It's the sleaze. The script. The horribleness of Lancaster. The sliminess of Curtis. The awesome score, the unbeatable cinematography. And the fact that it all conspires — and somehow that's exactly the right word — to create such an indelible sense of a dog-eat-dog world down to its last carcass.

FilmFan said...

SPOILER

I saw this at a screening in Madrid once where the subtitles were the electronic kind and were really, really bad. There were many examples but the absolute worst was right at the end, where Lancaster's sister says, "Because I'd rather be dead than live here with you!" (a terrific line, in context) and the subtitles translated it as "I'm leaving."