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7/29: The Sweet Smell of 50’s Journalism

Posted by novoscene on July 29, 2008

BAM/PFA continues it’s 2 month tribute to United Artists Studios with a one night screening of “The Sweet Smell of Success” the 1957 Noir flick loosely based on the life on (in)famous columnist Walter Winchell. A dark view of the sometimes gossipy world of journalism and Broadway in the 50’s when the rumors were juicy and the journalists held grudges:

“Like a journalist with a nose for the blues, this film sniffs out a perverse reality behind the fantasy world of Broadway, where personalities are made, and characters assassinated, with the stroke of a pen. Coming late in the witch-hunt era, it is a scathing indictment of the misuse of the all-powerful word to destroy lives and dreams. Burt Lancaster and Tony Curtis are brilliantly cast in unlikely roles-Lancaster as the indomitable gossip columnist J. J. Hunsecker, who needs the dirty lowdown on his friends and enemies like a junkie needs a fix, and Curtis as Sidney Falco, the ingratiating press agent who delivers it on a silver platter. Curtis-as-Falco must have frightened his fans with a knowing portrait of this “man of forty faces, not one of them pretty.-Judy Bloch BAM/PFA”

The Sweet Smell of Success
Pacific Film Archive Theater
2575 Bancroft Way
Between College and Telegraph, Berkeley


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