Director - Alexander Mackendrick
Genre - Drama/Film-Noir
Screenwriters would give their arms and legs for the gift of being able to pen the precision sharp lines in this film. No time or cinema reel were wasted here as barrage after barrage of 'quick on the feet' dialogue takes center stage, spewed almost unceasingly out of the characters' arsenic lips. Tony Curtis plays a press agent named Sidney Falco who has to depend on a spiteful, arrogant columnist (J.J. Hunsecker) played by Burt Lancaster as his meal ticket. When Sidney is asked to do J.J. a favor which compromises Sidney's already thinning view of honor and integrity, what will he choose? They say money is the root of all evil and this movie certainly went out of its way to show how low some of us can stoop to gain a whiff of success. Tony Curtis shrugged off his pretty boy image (this was a different era, mind you) to play a scheming, no good hammerhead and Lancaster exuded an even more despicable great white shark. Together, they represent a hunger for capitalism and a disgust of moral justice. That is actually the crux of the story and the lesson of never giving up our humanity no matter what reverberates even to this day.
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