Moviedrome Mondays: Sweet Smell of Success (1957)

Since I could not find a youtube video link of Moviedrome presenter Alex Cox presenting director Alexander Mackendrick’s 1957 classic Sweet Smell of Success, readers will once again have to rely on Cox’s transcript (read here). The episode’s original airdate was September 3, 1989 (read here). What more can be said about this great film. We get two powerhouse performances by Burt Lancaster and Tony Curtis, memorable dialogue from screenwriters Ernest Lehman and Clifford Odets (who was also a playwright) (you’re a cookie full of arsenic), spectacular black-and-white cinematography by the late legendary James Wong Howe and last, but not least, late great composer Elmer Bernstein’s jazzy score. I have seen all of Mackendrick’s Ealing comedies, but it has been a while since I saw his last two films, which were A High Wind in Jamaica and Don’t Make Waves, so I will have to re-watch them sometime in the future. Nevertheless, If any of you readers are interested in reading my list of my favorite Alexander Mackendrick films, read here.

Here is a youtube video link to the film’s original theatrical trailer


14 thoughts on “Moviedrome Mondays: Sweet Smell of Success (1957)

  1. I’ve mentioned before how much I love the dialogue in this one, the cinematography is wonderful too. James Wong Howe moves the camera through the nightclubs and street life of New York City with such ease and grace. Sweet Smell of Success also has terrific music and score. From the jazz in the clubs to the score by Elmer Bernstein the music alone is well worth the viewing.

  2. OMG, thank you for reminding me about Elmer Bernstein’s jazzy score 🙂 That too plays a significant contribution to this film’s success. What else can one say about this film except that it is a perfect package 🙂 Anyway, thanks for dropping by 🙂

    P.S. I just referenced Elmer Bernstein’s jazzy score in the blog entry 🙂

  3. An incredible movie really. I was absolutely mesmerized when I first saw it. I believe it’s an important for Film students. Great casting, Acting, Writing, Direction. Just an all around wonder.

  4. One of many definition of a true American classic lies in how quotable it is and If one were to ask me to name a perfect example, I would most certainly say Sweet Smell of Success. Anyway, thanks for dropping by 🙂

  5. If you love dialogue, which I assume everybody does, you will love this film 🙂 I guarantee it 🙂 Anyway, thanks for dropping by 🙂

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