Tony Curtis, Sam Levene, Burt Lancaster, Barbara Nichols, Martin Milner, Susan Harrison
Director Alexander Mackendrick breaks away from black comedy (THE LADYKILLERS) and goes for full-fledged noir in this spectacular hard-boiled tale of greed, corruption, and brutality. In the flashing neon nighttime of NYC, grasping press agent Sidney Falco (Tony Curtis) trawls the city's toniest nightspots--21,the Elysian--searching for the king of celebrity columnists, J.J. Hunsecker (Burt Lancaster). Falco is on the outs with Hunsecker because he hasn't successfully broken up the romance between Hunsecker's sister, Susie (Susan Harrison), and straitlaced jazz guitarist Steve Dallas (Martin Milner). The all-powerful Hunsecker is punishing Falco's failure by not printing any of the publicist's items. Desperate to make a living, Falco reveals a dirty plan to separate weak-willed Susie from her beau. While disgusted by Falco's slimy trade, the threatening, malicious columnist is determined to keep Susie for himself, so he agrees. In this jazzily scored, seamy nocturnal world, everyone is expendable as Hunsecker pushes for his twisted desires and Falco grasps for success. With their machine-gun dialogue and despicable behavior, Hunsecker and Falco are as dangerous as gangsters. The person who comes out on top when the sun rises, however, is a true surprise.
Maybe someone can remember this film better than me. I seem to remember the
original soundtrack was done by Stan Kenton. Is my memory playing tricks?
Am I up a gum tree? Am I thinking of a different film? I saw it on TV
recently and what I thought was a jazz soundtrack had all but disappeared.
Speak to me someone.
Fine performances from both Burt Lancaster and Tony Curtis in this film about the publicity world of the 1950s. A world that obviously contains some unsavioury characters. Excellent film, with the added bonus of music from the Chico Hamilton quintet for us jazz fans. Been filmed in black and white seems to had to the atmosphere of the story.