Rita (Barbara Nichols) confides in Sidney (Tony Curtis) when a columnist tries to take advantage of her.
Ernest Lehman drew upon his experiences as a Broadway press agent to write the devastating a clef short story “Tell Me About Tomorrow.” This in turn was adapted by Lehman and Clifford Odets into the sharp-edged, penetrating feature film Sweet Smell of Success. Burt Lancaster stars as J. J. Hunsecker, a Walter Winchell-style columnist who wields his power like a club, steamrolling friends and enemies alike. Tony Curtis co-stars as Sidney Falco, a sycophantic press agent who’d sell his grandmother to get an item into Hunsecker’s popular newspaper column. Hunsecker enlists Falco’s aid in ruining the reputation of jazz guitarist Steve Dallas (Martin Milner), who has had the temerity to court Hunsecker’s sister Susan (Susan Harrison). Falco contrives to plant marijuana on Dallas, then summons corrupt, sadistic NYPD officer Harry Kello (Emile Meyer), who owes Hunsecker several favors, to arrest the innocent singer. The real Walter Winchell, no longer as powerful as he’d been in the 1940s but still a man to be reckoned with, went after Ernest Lehman with both barrels upon the release of Sweet Smell of Success. Winchell was not so much offended by the unflattering portrait of himself as by the dredging up of an unpleasant domestic incident from his past. While Success was not a success at the box office, it is now regarded as a model of street-smart cinematic cynicism. The electric performances of the stars are matched by the taut direction of Alex MacKendrick, the driving jazz score of Elmer Bernstein, and the evocative nocturnal camerawork of James Wong Howe.
TM & © MGM (1957)
Cast: Tony Curtis, Barbara Nichols
Director: Alexander Mackendrick
Producers: Tony Curtis, Harold Hecht, Burt Lancaster, James Hill
Screenwriters: Ernest Lehman, Alexander Mackendrick, Clifford Odets
Barbara Nichols (I) (1928–1976)
Born December 10, 1928 in Queens, New York City, New York, USA
Died October 5, 1976 in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, USA (liver ailment)
Birth Name Barbara Marie Nickerauer
Nicknames The Queen of the B movies
The Blonde Bombshell
Miss Long Island
She was the archetypal brassy, bosomy, Brooklynesque bimbo with a highly distinctive scratchy voice. Barbara Nichols started life as Barbara Marie Nickerauer in Queens, New York on December 10, 1928, and grew up on Long Island. Graduating from Woodrow Wilson High School, the dame with the shapely frame changed her reddish-brown hair to platinum blonde and drew whistles as a post-war model and burlesque dancer. As a beauty contestant, she won the “Miss Long Island” title as well as the dubious crowns of “Miss Dill Pickle”, “Miss Mink of 1953” and “Miss Welder of 1953”, and also became a GI pin-up favorite. She began to draw early attention on stage (particularly in the musical “Pal Joey”) and in television drama.
Hardly leading lady material, Barbara found herself stealing focus in small, wisecracking roles, managing at times to draw both humor and pathos out of her cheesy, dim-witted characters — sometimes simultaneously. She seemed consigned for the long haul to playing strippers, gold-diggers, barflies, gun molls and other floozy types named Lola, Candy or even Poopsie. Barbara made the best of her stereotype, taking full advantage of the not-so-bad films that came her way. While most of them, of course, emphasized her physical endowments, she could be very, very funny when let loose. By far the best of her lot came out in one year: Pal Joey (1957), Sweet Smell of Success (1957) and The Pajama Game (1957). By the decade’s end, though, her film career had hit the skids and she turned more and more to television, appearing on The Beverly Hillbillies (1962), Adam-12 (1968), The Twilight Zone (1959) (the classic “Twenty-Two” episode), The Untouchables (1959) and Batman (1966), to name a few.
Barbara landed only one regular series role in her career, the very short-lived situation comedy Love That Jill (1958) starring husband-and-wife team Anne Jeffreys and Robert Sterling. Barbara played a model named “Ginger”. She also co-starred on Broadway with George Gobel and Sam Levene in the musical “Let It Ride” in 1961 and scraped up a few low-budget movies from time to time, including the campy prison drama House of Women (1962) and the science fiction film The Human Duplicators (1965) starring George Nader and Richard Kiel, who played “Jaws” in the James Bond film series.
A serious Long Island car accident in July 1957 led to the loss of her spleen, and another serious car accident in Southern California in the 1960s led to a torn liver. Complications would set in over a decade later and she was forced to slow down her career. Barbara eventually developed a life-threatening liver disease and her health deteriorated. In summer 1976, she was taken to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, California, where she went into a coma. She awoke for a few days just before Labor Day, but sank back shortly after. She died at age 47 of liver failure on October 5 and was survived by her parents, George and Julia Nickerauer. She was interred at Pinelawn Memorial Park in Farmingdale, New York.
Looking back, you have to hand it to Barbara Nichols. As the song from “Gypsy” emphasizes, “You gotta have a gimmick”. Barbara did — and she worked it. Like such other platinum blonde bombshells as Jayne Mansfield, Mamie Van Doren, Joi Lansing, Barbara Payton, Cleo Moore, Beverly Michaels and Diana Dors, she rolled with the punches.
– IMDb Mini Biography By: Gary Brumburgh / email@example.com
In The 5 Keys to Mastery, author George Leonard explores the personality traits and mental attitudes that help people in different fields of expertise reach the top, and how one can train oneself to succeed. Leonard is joined by a handful of successful people who offer their own perspectives, including Carlos Santana, B.B. King, Linus Torvalds, Julius Axelrod, Wendy Rieger, and more.
“How can I describe the kind of person who is on a path to mastery? First, I don’t think it should be so dead serious. I think you should understand the joy of it, the fun of it.”
–George Leonard, Author, Mastery
“Most people live and die and they don’t even know what their calling was. Maybe they didn’t take the time to push the pause button. What happens when you find your calling – everything stops and you just see what you’re supposed to do and why you’re supposed to do it. When I heard the first guitar in Tijuana, it made me realize that I have possibilities and opportunities to discover and nothing was gonna stop me.”
–Carlos Santana, Musician
Though he is the most-brilliant supervillain the world has known, Megamind (Will Ferrell) is the least-successful. Thwarted time and again by heroic Metro Man (Brad Pitt), Megamind is more surprised than anyone when he actually manages to defeat his longtime enemy. But without Metro Man, Megamind has no purpose in life, so he creates a new opponent, who quickly decides that it’s more fun to be a bad guy than a hero.
TM & © Dreamworks (2010)
Cast: Jonah Hill, Tina Fey, Will Ferrell
Screenwriter: Alan Schoolcraft, Brent Simons
Director: Tom McGrath
Parrish (Anthony Hopkins) gives his 65th birthday speech and breaks precedent by telling the crowd his one candle wish.
The cycle of life on Earth hangs in the balance when Death becomes emotionally involved in this romantic fantasy. William Parrish (Anthony Hopkins) is a tremendously wealthy and powerful man who oversees a worldwide multi-media empire. Despite the loss of his wife, whom he dearly loved, William is content with his life, and he’s very close to his two daughters, Allison (Marcia Gay Harden) and Susan (Claire Forlaini). One night, as William is fighting a hostile takeover of his company and Allison is planning an elaborate party to celebrate her dad’s 65th birthday, William begins displaying the symptoms of a severe heart attack, and he is visited by a mysterious stranger, Joe Black (Brad Pitt). Joe is actually the angel of death, who has taken the form of a man who recently passed on to pay William a call. It seems that William is due to move on to the next world, but (no great surprise) he doesn’t want to go. Joe, on the other hand, is curious to know what life is like for mere mortals, so the two men strike a deal — William will have some time to get his affairs in order, and Joe will wait and see what it’s like to be a human being. Joe decides that he likes it very much when he falls in love with Susan, but negotiating the slippery slopes of romance is no easier for Joe than for any ordinary man. Meet Joe Black is an updated version of Alberto Casella’s play Death Takes a Holiday, which was adapted for the screen in 1934.
TM & © Universal (1998)
Cast: Anthony Hopkins
Director: Martin Brest
Producers: Martin Brest, Celia D. Costas, Ronald L. Schwary, David J. Wally
Screenwriters: Ron Osborn, Jeff Reno, Kevin Wade, Bo Goldman, Alberto Casella, Walter Ferris, Maxwell Anderson, Gladys Lehman