Thursday, July 9, 2009

SWEET SMELL OF SUCCESS @ The Charles Theatre

Saturday July 11 at Noon
Monday July 13 at 7 PM
Thursday July 16 at 9 PM.

1957 Alexander Mackendrick. Burt Lancaster, Tony Curtis, Susan Harrison, Martin Milner, Chico Hamilton, Barbara Nichols. 96m. bw.

A film noir from the Ealing funny man? But Mackendrick's involvement with cosy British humour was always less innocent than it looked: remember the anti-social wit of The Man in the White Suit, or the cruel cynicism of The Ladykillers? Sweet Smell of Success was the director's American debut, a rat trap of a film in which a vicious NY gossip hustler (Curtis) grovels for his 'Mr Big' (Lancaster), a monster newspaper columnist who is incestuously obsessed with destroying his kid sister's romance... and a figure as evil and memorable as Orson Welles in The Third Man or Mitchum in The Night of the Hunter. The dark streets gleam with the sweat of fear; Elmer Bernstein's limpid jazz score (courtesy of Chico Hamilton) whispers corruption in the Big City. The screen was rarely so dark or cruel. (Time Out)