Sweet Smell of Success

In 1957, the film industry was ripe with groundbreaking movies that pushed the boundaries of traditional storytelling. One such movie was the iconic "Sweet Smell of Success," a film that tackled themes of power, corruption, and morality in a way that was both shocking and thought-provoking. Directed by Alexander Mackendrick and starring Burt Lancaster and Tony Curtis, "Sweet Smell of Success" was a critical success that has endured the test of time.

At its core, "Sweet Smell of Success" is a cautionary tale about the dangers of ambition and greed. The movie tells the story of J.J. Hunsecker, a powerful and influential newspaper columnist who uses his position to manipulate and control the people around him. Curtis plays Sidney Falco, a struggling press agent who becomes entangled in Hunsecker's web of deceit and corruption. Together, they navigate a seedy underworld of power brokers, mobsters, and corrupt officials, all vying for a slice of the American Dream.

Throughout the movie, Mackendrick uses a combination of stunning visuals and sharp dialogue to convey a sense of unease and tension. The film's black-and-white cinematography, moody lighting, and striking camera angles create a sense of foreboding that permeates every scene. At the same time, the movie's snappy, rapid-fire dialogue adds a level of intensity and urgency that keeps the audience on the edge of their seats.

As we delve into the themes and motifs of "Sweet Smell of Success," it becomes clear that this is a movie that still resonates with audiences today. From the #MeToo movement to the rise of fake news and political corruption, the issues explored in the movie are as relevant today as they were in 1957. Through our analysis of the film, we will explore how "Sweet Smell of Success" continues to captivate audiences and provide insight into the darker side of human nature.

So, why does "Sweet Smell of Success" continue to be a classic of American cinema? What lessons can we learn from the movie, and how do they apply to our current cultural landscape? Join us as we explore the enduring legacy of this groundbreaking film and uncover the secrets of its lasting appeal.

I'm sure you will also enjoy the following films:

TitleRelease YearDirectorIMDB Rating
The Godfather1972Francis Ford Coppola9.2
Taxi Driver1976Martin Scorsese8.3
Chinatown1974Roman Polanski8.2
The French Connection1971William Friedkin7.7
Dog Day Afternoon1975Sidney Lumet8.0

As someone who loves movies and has a passion for directing and cinematography, I have to say that "The Godfather" is one of my all-time favorites. Released in 1972, this movie is a true masterpiece in every sense of the word.

Plot and Summary

The movie tells the story of the Corleone family, an Italian-American Mafia family, and their struggles to maintain their power and influence amidst a changing world. At the center of the story is Michael Corleone, the youngest son of the family, who initially wants nothing to do with the family business but is eventually drawn into it due to a series of events.

Strong Points

One of the things that makes "The Godfather" such a great movie is the incredible cast. Marlon Brando's performance as Vito Corleone is iconic and unforgettable, and Al Pacino's portrayal of Michael Corleone is equally impressive. The supporting cast is also fantastic, with actors like James Caan, Robert Duvall, and Diane Keaton delivering memorable performances.

Another strong point of this movie is the direction and cinematography. Francis Ford Coppola did an amazing job of bringing this story to life, and the film's visual style is both beautiful and haunting. From the opening shot of the wedding to the final moments of the film, every shot is expertly crafted and tells a story in its own right.

Weak Points

It's hard to find any major weaknesses in "The Godfather," but some people might find the pacing a bit slow at times. This is a movie that takes its time to build tension and develop its characters, so it's not a fast-paced action movie by any means.

Personal Opinion

Personally, I think "The Godfather" is a masterpiece of filmmaking that deserves all the accolades it has received over the years. The story is compelling, the characters are unforgettable, and the direction and cinematography are top-notch. It's a movie that rewards multiple viewings and continues to captivate audiences to this day.

Overall, if you're a fan of movies and haven't seen "The Godfather" yet, I highly recommend giving it a watch. It's a true classic that has stood the test of time and is still as powerful and relevant today as it was back in 1972.

"Taxi Driver" Movie Review: A Timeless Classic

"Taxi Driver" is a 1976 American psychological thriller film directed by Martin Scorsese and written by Paul Schrader. It stars Robert De Niro, Jodie Foster, and Cybill Shepherd. The film follows Travis Bickle, a mentally unstable Vietnam War veteran who works as a taxi driver in New York City. He becomes increasingly disturbed as he witnesses the city's seedy underbelly and becomes obsessed with rescuing a young prostitute, Iris.

Impressions and Plot Summary

"Taxi Driver" is a powerful and haunting film that has stood the test of time. The movie is set in the gritty and dangerous streets of New York City and explores the dark side of humanity. The film's main character, Travis Bickle, is a complex and tortured soul who is struggling to find his place in the world. He is a loner who is disconnected from society and suffers from insomnia. As he drives through the city at night, he becomes increasingly disillusioned with the world around him and decides to take matters into his own hands.

One of the most striking aspects of the film is its cinematography. The film's dark and moody visuals perfectly capture the seedy underbelly of New York City in the 1970s. The use of color and lighting is masterful, and the film's iconic score adds to the sense of unease and tension.

Strong Points

The film's strong points lie in its direction, cinematography, and acting. Martin Scorsese's direction is flawless, and he expertly builds tension throughout the film. The cinematography by Michael Chapman is stunning and perfectly captures the mood of the film. Robert De Niro's performance as Travis Bickle is outstanding, and he delivers one of the most memorable performances of his career. Jodie Foster is also excellent as the young prostitute Iris, and her performance is both heartbreaking and powerful.

Weak Points

The film's weak point lies in its pacing. The film is slow and deliberate, and some viewers may find it difficult to stay engaged throughout the entire film. Additionally, the film's violence and themes of mental illness may be too disturbing for some viewers.

Final Thoughts

"Taxi Driver" is a timeless classic that is a must-see for any film lover. The film's themes of loneliness, isolation, and violence are still relevant today, and the film's unforgettable characters and visuals make it a true masterpiece. If you haven't seen "Taxi Driver" yet, I highly recommend it.

Chinatown: A Masterpiece of Film Noir

Chinatown is a 1974 neo-noir movie directed by Roman Polanski and starring Jack Nicholson, Faye Dunaway, and John Huston. It is considered one of the greatest films ever made, and I can attest to that. As a movie expert, I have watched countless films, and Chinatown stands out as a masterpiece in the film noir genre.

Plot Summary

The movie is set in Los Angeles in the 1930s, where private investigator J.J. "Jake" Gittes (Nicholson) is hired by a woman claiming to be Evelyn Mulwray (Dunaway) to investigate her husband's infidelity. However, things take a dark turn when the real Evelyn Mulwray appears, and Gittes finds himself embroiled in a web of corruption, murder, and deceit. As he delves deeper into the case, he uncovers a conspiracy involving the city's wealthy elite and a plan to divert water from a nearby valley, causing a drought and making them rich.


Chinatown is a well-crafted film that keeps you engaged from start to finish. The cinematography is outstanding, with the use of shadows and light to create a perfect film noir atmosphere. The story is gripping, and the twists and turns keep you on the edge of your seat. The performances by Nicholson, Dunaway, and Huston are exceptional, bringing depth and nuance to their characters. The chemistry between Nicholson and Dunaway is palpable, adding another layer to the film.


One of the movie's strengths is its attention to detail. The setting, costumes, and props are all meticulously designed to transport you to 1930s Los Angeles. The screenplay is also exceptional, with sharp dialogue and well-crafted scenes that build tension and suspense. The film's ending is unforgettable, leaving you with a sense of shock and melancholy.


One of the weaknesses of the movie is its slow pacing. It may not be a film for those looking for quick action or fast-paced scenes. The movie takes its time to build up the story and characters, but the payoff is worth it.


In conclusion, Chinatown is a must-watch movie for any film enthusiast. It is a perfect example of film noir, with its intricate plot, stunning cinematography, and exceptional performances. As a movie expert, I highly recommend this film to anyone who loves a good mystery or is interested in the history of cinema.

"The French Connection" is a classic crime thriller movie from the 1970s that has stood the test of time. Directed by William Friedkin and starring Gene Hackman, it is considered one of the best movies of the decade and a masterpiece of its genre.

Plot and Summary

The movie tells the story of two New York City detectives, Jimmy "Popeye" Doyle (Hackman) and Buddy "Cloudy" Russo (Roy Scheider), who are assigned to track down a group of French drug smugglers who have entered the city. As they dig deeper into the case, they realize that the smugglers are more dangerous and elusive than they had anticipated, and the stakes become higher as they try to catch them.


One of the things that make "The French Connection" special is its gritty realism. The movie feels like a documentary at times, and the scenes of car chases and foot pursuits are intense and adrenaline-pumping. The cinematography is also excellent, with Friedkin's use of close-ups and natural lighting adding to the movie's authenticity.

Another strong point of the movie is the casting. Hackman delivers a powerful performance as Popeye Doyle, a flawed and obsessive detective who will stop at nothing to catch the bad guys. Scheider is also excellent as his partner Russo, providing a much-needed counterbalance to Doyle's recklessness.

Weak Points

One of the weak points of "The French Connection" is its pacing. The movie can feel slow at times, especially during the scenes where Doyle and Russo are staking out the smugglers. However, this is a minor quibble, and the movie more than makes up for it with its thrilling action sequences and tension-filled plot.

Personal Opinion

Overall, "The French Connection" is a classic movie that every cinephile should watch. Its realism and intensity make it a standout in the crime thriller genre, and Hackman's performance is one for the ages. While it may not be for everyone, those who appreciate great filmmaking will find a lot to enjoy in this movie.

"Dog Day Afternoon" is a 1975 movie directed by Sidney Lumet that tells the story of a bank robbery gone wrong. The movie is based on a true story and stars Al Pacino as Sonny Wortzik, a desperate man who robs a bank in Brooklyn to pay for his lover's sex reassignment surgery. The robbery quickly turns into a hostage situation, and Sonny finds himself in a tense standoff with the police.

Plot Summary

The movie takes place over the course of one hot summer day in New York City. Sonny and his accomplice, Sal (played by John Cazale), enter the bank and demand money from the tellers. They soon realize that the bank is nearly empty, and they are forced to take hostages to buy time while they wait for the money to arrive. As the hours pass, Sonny becomes a media sensation, and crowds gather outside the bank to show their support. The police try to negotiate with Sonny, but he refuses to surrender, and the situation becomes increasingly volatile.

Strong Points

One of the strengths of "Dog Day Afternoon" is its intense, kinetic energy. The movie has a sense of urgency that never lets up, and the tension between the hostages and their captors is palpable. Al Pacino delivers a powerhouse performance as Sonny, and his character is both sympathetic and complex. The movie also has a dark sense of humor that helps to balance out the more serious moments.

Weak Points

One weakness of the movie is that some of the supporting characters feel underdeveloped. While the main characters are fleshed out and well-realized, some of the hostages and police officers feel like caricatures. Additionally, the plot can feel a bit contrived at times, especially in the final act.

Overall Impression

Despite its flaws, "Dog Day Afternoon" is a gripping and memorable movie that holds up well today. The performances by Al Pacino and John Cazale are both excellent, and Sidney Lumet's direction is masterful. The movie is a fascinating exploration of desperation, love, and the lengths that people will go to in order to get what they want. If you're a fan of crime dramas or character-driven stories, "Dog Day Afternoon" is definitely worth checking out.