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Sweet Smell of Success (1957)

Book Vs Movie Podcast

Book Vs. Movie: Sweet Smell of Success

Ernest Lehman was an accomplished writer and adapter of material for the screen, known for his work on movies such as Hello Dolly!, The King and I, and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? In 1950, he wrote an original short story, “Tell Me About It Tomorrow,” published in Cosmopolitan magazine. This story became the basis of Clifford Odet’s screenplay for the 1957 classic film Sweet Smell of Success, starring Burt Lancaster and Tony Curtis and directed by Alexander Mackendrick. The film is a gripping portrayal of media manipulation, gossip, backstabbing, and strange family relationships set in the world of New York City newspapers and the desire for fame.

If you’re wondering which version the Margos liked better, listen in to find out!
In this ep, the Margos discuss:

  • The career of Ernest Lehman
  • Gossip columnists and their power to change narratives.
  • The differences between the short story and the film.
  • The cast of the 1957 film: Burt Lancaster (J.J. Hunsecker,) Tony Curtis (Sidney Falco,) Susan Harrison (Susan Hunsecker,) Martin Milner (Steve Dallas,) Sam Levene (Frank D’Angelo,) Barbara Nicholas (Rita,) Jeff Donnell (Sally) and Joe Frisco as Herbie Temple.

Clips used:

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