Sweet Smell of Success
Sweet Smell of Success (1957)

J.J. Hunsecker, a powerful New York newspaper columnist, is dead set against his sister's marrying a jazz musician. Sidney Falco, a sleazy PR man, will do anything to get publicity for his clients, and he sees Hunsecker's situation… More

Rated: Unrated
Running Time:
Release Date: June 19, 2001
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Rotten Tomatoes™
Critic Score
98%
Flixster
User Score
93%

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Critic Score: 98% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews

Consensus: Sweet Smell of Success boasts a top-notch cast, sharp direction, atmospheric cinematography, and an appropriately jazzy score, making it one of the best noir crime thrillers ever made.

TIME Magazine

Sweet Smell, which could have been offal, is raised to considerable dramatic heights by intense acting, taut direction (by Alexander Mackendrick), [and] superb camera work (by James Wong Howe).

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Time Out

The screen was rarely so dark or cruel.

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Cole Smithey
ColeSmithey.com

[VIDEO ESSAY] Here lies the defective foundation of the American Dream as viewed from an implicitly American viewpoint - Bert Lancaster's company produced the film.

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Dave Kehr
Chicago Reader

Mackendrick's nighthawk landscape is compellingly, poetically bleak.

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Chris Vognar
Dallas Morning News

A lean, mean amorality tale that still goes down like a cookie laced with arsenic.

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Wesley Lovell
Cinema Sight

A meandering drama about the lure of success and the ignominious aggression of defeat.

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Variety Staff
Variety

James Hill's production, locationed in Manhattan, captures the feel of Broadway and environs after dark.

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Andrew Sarris
New York Observer

The main incentive to see this movie is its witty, pungent and idiomatic dialogue, such as you never hear on the screen anymore in this age of special-effects illiteracy.

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Matthew Sorrento
Film Threat

It all begins with the title. The irony aside, its lightness and alliteration suggest the last breaths of one of the film's victims.

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More reviews for Sweet Smell of Success

Flixster Audience Score: 93% Flixster User Reviews
Apeneck Fletcher
A double-barrelled shotgun in the face of celebrity press and American societal values itself, the film snaps, crackles, and pops with its depiction of a… More
xGary Xx
This pitch black hearted noir was something of a flop on its release, and it's not difficult to see why. Not through lack of quality, but rather the fact… More
Tim Salmons
The word tense doesn't even begin to describe Alexander Mackendrick's psychologically unsettling masterpiece Sweet Smell of Success. Carrying perhaps… More
Jennifer Xu
The codependency of JJ and Falco is one for the books, that slimy, gritty animalistic relationship of prey and predator, agent and sellout - almost homoerotic… More
jay nixon
About as hard edged as a movie can be. As a look at a group of venal people it can't be beat but this is a very loathsome group so spending any time with… More
Reid Volk
A fairly straightforward but well acted film about the dark side of those crazed by the "sweet smell of success." In an attempt to secure a name for… More