If you’re either mourning the film star Tony Curtis’ passing or wondering what all the fuss is about, look no further than The Sweet Smell of Success. Curtis plays an ambitious young press agent who falls under the influence of a more experienced, predatory gossip columnist played by Burt Lancaster. Released in 1957, the movie also stars New York City, which forms a velvety, glamorous backdrop to every pivotal scene. I had the pleasure of first seeing it at the New York Historical Society in 2002. If you don’t see it listed in any of our fine art house cinemas, then break down and rent it through your DVD supplier of choice. But see it. You’ll fall in love with a completely different New York City.
-Margot Bouman, Assistant Professor in Visual Culture Studies