The Sweet Smell of Success (1957)


The Sweet Smell of Success (1957)

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FADE IN: Context: the city.

Meeting the AntiHero: Sidney Falco buys the paper.

Meeting the Antagonist: JJ Hunsecker's column.

Developing the AntiHero: Sidney walks into his office; Sidney avoiding people on the phone; JJ hasn't mentioned Sidney's client; Sidney short of money.

Developing Characters and Relationships: Sidney with his secretary [Loyal Ally].

AntiHero's Motivation: Sidney wants to reach the top.

First Threshold: in the bar.

Meeting AntiGoddess: Rita.

Meeting Hero's Mentor : Frank.

Meeting Hero: Steve.

Referencing the Antagonist: Hunsecker.

Meeting Goddess: Susie.

Call to Adventure : Susie will try to make Steve a good wife.

Refusal / Warning of the Antagonist: "..I'm telling him in the morning at breakfast…"; he makes me nervous.

Hero and AntiHero confrontation: Steve confronts Sidney.

Developing Characters and Relationships: Susie and Steve.

Developing Characters and Relationships: Sidney with Rita.

Foreshadow of the Trials: meet me there at 2.30?

Journey to the First Threshold : the taxi ride.

Developing Characters and Relationships: Sidney and Susie.

Physical Separation: tell JJ that Steve is the first real man I've been in love with.

Obstacle: Sidney's client in front of JJ's club.

Threshold Guardian: Sidney phones JJ; can I come in for a minute?

Outer Cave / Trial: Sidney walks up to JJ at the table.

Developing the Antagonist: JJ manipulates the Senator.

Developing Characters and Relationships: match me. Not quite yet JJ.

Middle Cave: Meeting the Antagonist's Lieutenant: Lt. Harry Kello.

Developing Characters and Relationships: JJ and Harry.

Developing the Ordinary World: I love this town.

Inner Cave: Antagonist's Motivation: Susie is all I have.

Physical Separation : what you promised, do it. It's later than you think.

World of the Transformation: the 2 nd bar.

Transformation / Trials:

Trial 1: Sidney tries to blackmail Leo.

Trial 2: Persuading Otis to print an item.

Trial 3: Persuading Rita to bed Otis.

Developing Characters and Relationships: Sidney phones JJ.

Antagonist's Motivation: JJ looks at Susie.

Meeting the Oracle: Mary.

Foreshadow of the Near Death Experience: Steve mentioned in JJ's column.

AntiHero's Character: Mary refs Sidney's character.

Sword: Herbie in JJ's column.

Journey to the Sword: is Herbie on stage yet?

Guardians of the Sword: watch out for this guy, he's a press agent.

Seizing the Sword : Sidney gets Herbie to be a client.

Near Death Experience : Steve gets a smear in JJ's column; Steve is fired; Steve comes into Sidney's office; Frank prevents a fight.

Disappointment with AntiHero's path: Sally disappointed.

Foreshadow of the Atonement: Sidney calls JJ.

Goddess' Inner Challenge: Susie can't stand up to JJ.

Foreshadow of the Atonement: JJ discusses with Sidney at the back of the TV studio.

Pushed back from the Atonement: Frank and Steve convince Steve to take it easy.

Atonement with the Father : Steve confronts JJ.

Apotheosis : Susie can't stand up to JJ.

Ultimate Boon : I'll never see him again.

Refusal : JJ wants Steve taken apart; Sidney won't do it.

Magic Flight : Susie says goodbye.

Developing the AntiHero: Sidney doesn't tell JJ that they've called it off.

Developing Characters and Relationships: Sidney and Harry; Sidney tells Harry when Steve is coming out.

Rescue from Without : Sidney gets a call.

Crossing the Return Threshold : Sidney goes back to JJ's apartment.

Master of Two Worlds : Sidney saves Susie from suicide; JJ beats up Sidney.

Freedom to Live : Susie gathers the courage to leave JJ.


by Kal Bashir