The New York media ecosystem in the 1950s, seen here through famed cinematographer James Wong Howe’s expressive lens and left-wing screenwriter Clifford Odets’s cracked vision, was a cutthroat world in which men would do anything to succeed, freely tossing morals and ethics aside. In this context, Lancaster seethes as high-profile gossip columnist and blackmail artist extraordinaire J.J. Hunsecker. He enlists Sidney Falco (Tony Curtis), a down-on-his-luck press agent, to do his bidding when Hunsecker decides that the man dating his sister (Susan Harrison) is no good. Falco resists until Hunsecker makes him an offer he can’t pass up: to take over Hunsecker’s wildly popular gossip column. “The film stands as the record of one of the most convincing and closely observed symbiotic relationships in the movies. Hunsecker and Falco. You can’t have one without the other.”—Roger Ebert.