Inigo Thomas' recent diary in the LRB, focused on Michael Wolff and Fire and Fury, was a treat in and of itself.

Resentment broke out, as if Wolff, who has written mostly about the media in the past, had stolen a subject from the seasoned political reporters. Or was it because, by getting inside the White House, he had exposed them for failing to do the same?

More than that, however, it also prompted us to watch The Sweet Smell of Success. Jones conjures "powerful newspaper columnist" J.J. Hunsecker to characterise both Wolff and Trump and I was intrigued enough to look the film up. On a rainy Saturday afternoon, the next move was obvious. Rent the sucker and transport ourselves to late 1950s New York noir.

What a treat. The cinematography is wonderful, with New York by night in a starring role. Tony Curtis and Burt Lancaster give sterling performances, Lancaster full of menace and Curtis always seeming just a little out of his depth. There are so many resonances with stories dominating the news today, and the ending (no spoilers) is wonderfully open-ended in a way that just doesn't happen much these days; except that it did in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri one reason I loved that too.

My rating:

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