Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Sight & Sound Challenge: Sweet Smell of Success (1957)

Film: Sweet Smell of Success (82/250) 
Critics Poll: 171st 
Directors Poll: 322nd 
First Time/Rewatch: First Time

Hmmm. This one was a little difficult for me to get terribly invested in, plotwise. Some films can take a simple problem or situation and elevate it, giving you enough to chew on to overlook the simplicity of the plot. In this case, I kept thinking how upset everybody was over nothing. All that plotting and scheming and violence over "I don't want that guy dating my sister"? Hard for me to get excited about. What I will give this film, however, is the photography, the music, and Burt Lancaster. Lancaster owns this film. I've only seen him in a few movies, but he has such presence. His diction, his posture, and the way the shadows play with his face made him appear so menacing. Add the great-looking city shots and that wailing jazz score, and this line sums it up: "I love this dirty town." My initial take of it was that it was just okay, but I keep thinking about it. Guess this one gets in there and stays in there. Or maybe I just took a big bite of the cookie full of arsenic. 

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