They don't make them like they used to. Sweet Smell of Success is the kind of perfectly cool film you imagine all films made in 1957 should be - black and white, thin ties, hair that stays in place, a jazz soundtrack, and all the shadows and light the city of Manhattan has to offer. Tony Curtis is Sidney Falco: cruel, desperate, has a bed in his office, a press agent trying to cash in on any one of the talents he represents. Burt Lancaster is J.J. Hunsecker: crueler, never needs to light his own cigarette, and the powerful newspaper columnist that Falco needs to achieve success. Falco would do anything to have Hunsecker write up the performers on his roster...including sell out some innocent lovers and pimping out a waitress. The dialogue (by Clifford Odets and Ernest Lehman) is snappy, beyond hip, the put-downs lower than the street - you only wish you could talk like that. At the American Cinematheque Howard Bragman will be signing his new book, Where's My Fifteen Minutes, before the screening with a panel discussion following.
Wednesday, April 29
SPOTLIGHT ON PUBLICITY: The Evolution of the Industry… 50 Years Ago to TodayBook signing starts at 6:00 p.m.
Film screening at 7:30 p.m.
American Cinematheque at the Egyptian Theater
6712 Hollywood Blvd.