Tuesday, October 25, 2011
Sweet Smell of Success - 1957 *****
'Match Me Sidney', 'The cat's in the bag and the bag's in the river.'
This is probably one of the most quoted films I have ever seen. And one of the grittiest and nastiest portrayals of a columnist and his unashamed bullying and intimidating of his press agent who, despite his awful treatment, still idolizes and looks up to him, to the point where he will break up relationships and ruin people's lives to give him what he wants. It's terrifying in a way, the power of the newspaper, and the power one man can have over another man, but also utterly fascinating, with one of the most sleazy and memorable soundtracks of the 1950s, captivating New York at it's slimiest and slickest.
Lancaster is amazing to watch as the power hungry JJ, and Curtis is pitiful as the press agent Sidney Falco who can't seem to get a break, however hard he tries.
Although gritty to watch, and fairly uncomfortable, it cannot be denied that behaviour like this happens in the world of journalism, and the lengths some people will go to is astounding.
Lancaster and Curtis must be two of the greatest pairings to ever be seen on screen.