96 Minutes| U.S.A.| 1957| Black and White| 35mm

If an actor’s career contains one perfect film, he’s nigh-upon-guaranteed celluloid immortality. Tony Curtis’ filmography contains at least two: Some Like It Hot and this film, the first and best American feature directed by Ealing mainstay Sandy (The Ladykillers) Mackendrick. Adapted from Ernest Lehman’s novella by Lehman, Mackendrick and Clifford Odets, Sweet Smell is a vivid portrait in shameless desperation, as personified by smarmy young press agent Sidney Falco (Curtis, never better). J. J. Hunsecker (Burt Lancaster) can make or break a career with the briefest of mentions in his newspaper column. Reptilian sociopath Hunsecker won’t feature any of Falco’s clients until ‘cookie full of arsenic’ Sid makes good on a promise to break up the budding romance between J.J.’s beloved sister and a local jazz musician. Mackendrick’s whip-smart masterpiece remains an eminently quotable, pitch-black comedy of manners, morals (or lack thereof) and media manipulation.Due to circumstances beyond our control, Tony Curtis will no longer be coming to Ireland on this occasion and therefore unable to appear at the IFI.
All three screenings (Sweet Smell of Success, The Vikings and Some Like It Hot) will still take place at their scheduled times.

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