Tony hits the big time, sharing poster-space with the one and only Burt Lancaster. He had to fight against his contracted studio, Universal, for the role, having wearied of playing brawny pretty boys. That didn’t stop screaming fan girls turning out in their droves during exterior shooting, though, the crazed hoards even breaking down police barriers to get at Curtis.
“They come right up to me, right up to my face and say, 'Tony Curtis !’” the actor remembered recently. “And I say, 'Who else could it be?' I've turned it into a game for myself. I do enjoy it a lot.”
Here he plays press agent Sidney Falco, who attempts to break up a couple in order to get ahead with a national newspaper. Yeah, no more Mr Nice Guy.
Test screenings proved disastrous, as Curtis fans expected him to play his usual role. Director Alexander Mackendrick recalls people “curling up, crossing their arms and legs, recoiling from the screen in disgust”. They all came around in the end, though.