Criterion Year Week 49: Sweet Smell of Success

The Criterion Collection, the last vestige of truly collectible DVD and Blu-Ray movies in existence. These are well produced, fancy pants editions of important and interesting films for the discerning film lover.

We continue our journey through Jim's collection of movies with...

Sweet Smell of Success

Spine Number: 555

Director: Alexander MacKendrick

Genre: Drama

If you've followed this show for any length of time then you know that Jim and Clarkson are really into news and media. Not just watching, but actually looking at how our news media functions as an entity. The manner in which information is desciminated is as important as the information itself. Style has become substance, and substance has become lost.

How did this happen?

Well, as hard as it is to believe, there was a time when a handful of people could sway public opinion with little effort. It might seem like that same thing exists today, but it really doesn't. At least not like this. Back when there were three TV channels, a few radio stations, and a handful of newspapers available in each town, the people wrote the news had a lot of power.

It makes sense. I mean, people want to know about what's happening in the world, and when there are only a handful of outlets reporting on what's happening, each one has a lot of power. Not like today, when the 24 hour news cycle has become more of a 96 quarter hour news cycle. There are more news and information outlets than you can count, and each one is looking for a way to get your attention.

But there was a time...

Which brings us to "Sweet Smell of Success."


Tony Curtis plays an up and coming press agent. Burt Lancaster plays the most influential columnist/media personality in New York. Curtis needs Lancaster for his clients, Lancaster needs Curtis to do his dirty work.

It's a fascinating, stylized look at how the people who control information use it to control everything around them. This is a movie about power, corruption, and the desire to come out on top, and what that does to a man.

So, join us as we take a discuss this fascinating look at media culture and talk about how it is as relevant today as the day it was made, if not more.


In two weeks, we continue our run of movies that Clarkson will be seeing for the first time ever with... 

Spine number 562: Blow Out

Also, check this out.

The Life Masters is now it's own show with its own site and own dedicated feed. That's right, we have two completely different shows! 

Right now check it out at

You can also drink in our brilliance on Youtube for both The Film Thugs and The Life Masters.

Looks like Summer Movie League has officially become Fantasy Movie League.

It looks quite fun. Here's how it works.

You have an 8 screen theater.

Every week you pick movies and have a budget/salary cap you have to stay under.

Then you compete against other theaters in your league.

It's fantasy football for movie people.

Our league is Film Thugs 2015 and the password is Porterhouse.

And remember, you can be a part of the show any time you wild like. How's that? All you have to do is call or e-mail us. If you live in the US, or any place that makes calling the US easy, just dial 512-666-RANT and leave us a voicemail. We will read the Google Voice transcript and play your message. It's both funny AND informative.

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E-mail us at and we will read/play whatever you send us, or you can e-mail to be part of  an upcoming "Ask the Film Thugs" show, where we answer questions on any subject without having heard them first.

Also, we are on twitter @thefilmthugs and on Facebook and Vine.

Also, be sure to check back often for our new endeavor The Life Masters, where we answer questions to other advice columnists.

Thanks for listening, and until next week...

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