J.J. Hunsecker

J.J. Hunsecker

    Sweet Smell of Success
Photo Credit: Everett Collection

Character Analysis

(Avoiding Spoilers)

Overview... writer of a nationally syndicated column. Hunsecker has a lot of readers, so if someone wants exposure, they can get it – at a price. Sidney Falco has been pushing his clients through Hunsecker’s column for years, until Falco failed to break up the relationship of Hunsecker’s younger sister with a jazz guitarist whom Hunsecker considered beneath her. Now Hunsucker has frozen out Falco unless he makes good, or he’ll take matters into his own hands ­– which he might do anyway. Susie might not like all the manipulation, but Hunsecker wishes she’d understand he only wants the best for her.

Personality... jealous and controlling. Unlike most journalists, he doesn’t even pretend he’s doing some decent or responsible service to society. He knows he’s part of the machine, and he loves it. He’ll print whatever sells papers. People buy papers to be entertained. If a little salt and pepper needs to be added to a story, he’ll add it. He relishes pulling the strings on celebrities – and his own sister.


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