Film snippets, pt. 1

by Nandia Foteini Vlachou



Such heights and depths of depravity, cynicism and perversion have rarely been captured on film. A dark, vicious masterpiece, shot exquisitely in black and white by James Wong Howe, directed to perfection by Alexander Mackendrick, scored superbly by Elmer Bernstein and with crisp, unforgettable dialogues by Clifford Odets and Ernest Lehman; it is the kind of film that not only lives up to its hype, but manages to surpass it. It was well worth the anticipation of several years to finally be able to catch it on the big screen. The night imagery of New York is stunning – and the performances of Burt Lancaster and Tony Curtis unsettling to a remarkable degree. The kind of film that alone would suffice to immortalize all its contributors.

[Sweet Smell of Success (1957), watched on February 11, 2016, at the Cinemateca Portuguesa]