Episode 68: Sweet Smell of Success

In this episode of Welcome To The Party Pal, film historian and host Christian Niedan, with the help of editor and culture journalist Dante A. Ciampaglia, celebrate the 1957 cult classic Sweet Smell of SuccessSweet Smell of Success is a noir drama film directed by Alexander Mackendrick, starring Burt Lancaster, Tony Curtis, Susan Harrison, and Martin Milner, and written by Clifford Odets, Ernest Lehman, and Mackendrick from the novelette by Lehman. The darkened noir cinematography filmed on location in New York City was shot by James Wong Howe. The film tells the story of powerful and sleazy newspaper columnist J.J. Hunsecker (portrayed by Lancaster and based on Walter Winchell) who uses his connections to ruin his sister’s relationship with a man he deems unworthy of her. The musical score was arranged and conducted by Elmer Bernstein and the film also features jazz performances by the Chico Hamilton Quintet.

Read work from Dante A. Ciampaglia, who has been published by The Paris Review, Metropolis, Architectural Digest, and Wired, at danteaciampaglia.com. Of note, read his article entitled “Black (and Blue) and White and Rad All Over” about Sweet Smell of Success at Pop Matters.


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