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5 Movies like Sweet Smell of Success: The Power of the Press

JoshThey say the mass media holds great power over most of the population, changing and effecting our opinions on a daily basis, whether it’s on the internet, television or printed form.

Movies like ‘Sweet Smell of Success’ examine the power of the media, and the control it has on viewers around the world, which is surely a subject that is still imporant to this day.

For more media centred movies, check out my recommendations. ~ Josh Sammons

Movies Similar to ‘Sweet Smell of Success’

Enjoy reading this article, we hope you’ll find your next favourite title to watch. (Re)discover undisputable classics and be surprised by hidden gems you probably haven’t heard of yet.



‘Wag the Dog’ (Barry Levinson, 1997)

‘Wag the Dog’ is the close to the bone political black comedy that showcases the true power of the media.

The likes of Robert De Niro and Dustin Hoffman star in the film, which sees the President of the United States involved in a sex scandal.

With the help of a spin doctor who decides the best way out of the situation is to fabricate a war to take the heat away.


Similarity Match

A close to the bone look at the media.



‘Network’ (Sidney Lumet, 1976)

Sidney Lumet’s scathing satire takes an unflinching look into the power of the media that remains one of the best movies of its kind.

News anchorman Howard Beale (Peter Finch) learns that he faces the axe after many years on air.

Not happy about the plan of being forced off air, he begins an on air meltdown, which proves to be a huge ratings boost for the channel.

As his spiral continues, so does the ratings, and so does the company’s thurst for more power.


Similarity Match

I'm as mad as hell.



‘Good Night, and Good Luck’ (George Clooney, 2005)

George Clooney turned director to surprising success with the black and white drama, ‘Goodnight, and Goodluck’.

Based on a true events, this film tells the story of broadcast journalist Edward R. Murrow who set out to bring down Senator Joseph McCarthy.

‘Goodnight, and Goodluck’ sheds further light onto today’s polictical light, and proves to be just as important over a decade after its release.


Similarity Match

The people vs. McCarthy.



‘The Social Network’ (David Fincher, 2010)

The 21st century saw the rise of social media sites such as Facebook, which are becoming increasingly more important for news to spread around the world.

‘The Social Network’ is the Academy Award nominated film that explores the orgins for one of the biggest sites in the world- Facebook, and the troubles its creator, Mark Zuckerberg (Jesse Eisenberg) was faced with.

‘The Social Network’ boasts fine direction, a crisp screenplay by Aaron Sorkin and a kickass score.


Similarity Match

The rise and rise of Facebook.


If You Like ‘Sweet Smell of Success’, You Will Like

‘Ace in the Hole’ (Billy Wilder, 1951)

Billy Wilder takes aim at the press with his darkly thrilling movie, ‘Ace in the Hole’.

Kirk Douglas stars as reporter Chuck Tatum, a man who will do anything for a good story.

As luck will have it, whilst working for a local paper, he stumbles onto an incident that sees a man trapped in mineshaft. Though can be easily freed, Tatum concocts a sensationalist story that makes world wide news.

Even back in the 50s, Wilder was making films that still reflect that of todays world.


Similarity Match

A film beyond its time.


Tell Us What You Think

These are my recommendations for films like ‘Sweet Smell of Success’. Let me know what you think of my choices.

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