February 5, 2013
By Susan King
British director Alexander Mackendrick made memorable films on both sides of the pond.
In Britain, Mackendrick was one of the star directors at the famed Ealing Studios thanks to his sharp, inventive comedies such as 1949's "Whisky Galore" and 1951's "The Man in the White Suit," and his 1955 masterwork, "The Ladykillers," with Alec Guinness and Peter Sellers.
In Hollywood, Mackendrick is best known for the brilliant 1957 drama "Sweet Smell of Success" that starred Burt Lancaster as the ruthless gossip columnist J.J. Hunsecker and Tony Curtis as the ambitious press agent Sidney Falco. Though the film is considered one of the seminal dramas of the 1950s, it was not a hit and Mackendrick made just a handful of films over the next decade.
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