Saturday, August 30, 2008

Sweet Smell of Success

Alexander Mackendrick, 1957, bw (8.8*)
Burt Lancaster plays cutthroat news columnist J.J. Hunsecker who uses his powerful influence to dominate those around him, with Tony Curtis as his press agent (Sidney Falco) in what many considered to be an indictment of Walter Winchell, whose popularity ironically declined after this film and who two years later no longer had a national column. Many credit this film's incisive indictment with ending his muckraking career.

Lancaster is superb in a performance preceding his Oscar® for Elmer Gantry, as a man who dominates and subordinates all those around him, and tries to maintain a tight control over his sister at home as well, with no real regard for either the feelings nor the rights of others, only himself. Beautifully shot in black and white, one of the most searing dramas of its time.


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Artist, photographer, composer, author, blogger, metaphysician, herbalist

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These are the individual film reviews of what I'm considering the best 1000 dvds available, whether they are films, miniseries, or live concerts. Rather than rush out all 1000 at once, I'm doing them over time to allow inclusion of new releases - in fact, 2008 has the most of any year so far, 30 titles in all; that was a very good year for films, one of the best ever.

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