The Movie: Sweet Smell of Success, 1957 (Clifford Odets and Ernest Lehman, screenwriters, from a novelette by Lehman; Alexander Mackendrick, dir.)
Who says it: Burt Lancaster as J.J. Hunsecker, a powerful gossip columnist
The context: Hunsecker has just spewed a vicious tirade about press agent Sidney Falco (Tony Curtis) in front of a Senator and his wife, while Falco sits beside him. At the end of the speech, Hunsecker asks Falco to light his cigarette, to complete his humiliation. Falco refuses.
How to use it: To add that last killer blow when someone’s been defeated.
Tom Ehrenfeld has been telling me to watch this movie for years, and I finally did last night. What took me so long? If I'd seen it a year ago, at least three other quotes from this movie would already have run in the blog ("My right hand hasn't seen my left hand in 30 years." "The cat's in the bag, and the bag's in the river." "I love this dirty town."). I rented it from Netflix, but I think I'll have to buy my own copy.
Four days of 90+ degree temperatures have left my corner of Gardiner smelling like garbage. It's a little cooler this morning, but it's still only 8:30. Yesterday I had to go work out just so I could be in air conditioning. Whatever gets me there...