How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying (1967)

Approved  |   |  Comedy, Musical  |  9 March 1967 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.2/10 from 3,302 users  
Reviews: 46 user | 12 critic

Armed with a "How to..." manual, an ambitious window washer seeks to climb the corporate ladder.



(book), (book), 3 more credits »
0Check in

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Video

2 nominations. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Employees of the Sleeptite Pajama Factory are looking for a whopping seven-and-a-half cent an hour increase and they won't take no for an answer. Babe Williams is their feisty employee ... See full summary »

Directors: George Abbott, Stanley Donen
Stars: Doris Day, John Raitt, Carol Haney
Romance | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Thornton Wilder's tale of a matchmaker who desires the man she's supposed to be pairing with another woman.

Director: Joseph Anthony
Stars: Shirley Booth, Anthony Perkins, Shirley MacLaine
Comedy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A wily slave must unite a virgin courtesan and his young smitten master to earn his freedom.

Director: Richard Lester
Stars: Zero Mostel, Phil Silvers, Buster Keaton
Comedy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Millie comes to town in the roaring twenties to encounter flappers, sexuality and white slavers.

Director: George Roy Hill
Stars: Julie Andrews, James Fox, Mary Tyler Moore
Damn Yankees! (1958)
Comedy | Musical | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Film adaptation of the George Abbott Broadway musical about a Washington Senators fan who makes a pact with the Devil to help his baseball team win the league pennant.

Directors: George Abbott, Stanley Donen
Stars: Tab Hunter, Gwen Verdon, Ray Walston
Gypsy (1962)
Biography | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Based on the Broadway hit about the life and times of burlesque dancer Gypsy Rose Lee and her aggressive stage mother, Mama Rose.

Director: Mervyn LeRoy
Stars: Rosalind Russell, Natalie Wood, Karl Malden
Biography | Comedy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Molly is an uneducated, poor, mountain girl who leaves her mountain cabin in search of a wealthy husband, respect and a better life.

Director: Charles Walters
Stars: Debbie Reynolds, Harve Presnell, Ed Begley
Comedy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A rock singer travels to a small Ohio town to make his "farewell" television performance and kiss his biggest fan before he is drafted.

Director: George Sidney
Stars: Dick Van Dyke, Ann-Margret, Janet Leigh
The Loved One (1965)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Satire on the funeral business, in which a young British poet goes to work at a Hollywood cemetery.

Director: Tony Richardson
Stars: Robert Morse, Jonathan Winters, Anjanette Comer
South Pacific (1958)
Musical | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

On a South Pacific island during World War II, love blooms between a young nurse and a secretive Frenchman who's being courted for a dangerous military mission.

Director: Joshua Logan
Stars: Rossano Brazzi, Mitzi Gaynor, John Kerr
Can-Can (1960)
Comedy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

1896, Montmartre: the Can-Can, the dance in which the women lift their skirts, is forbidden. Nevertheless Simone has it performed every day in her night club. Her employees use their female... See full summary »

Director: Walter Lang
Stars: Frank Sinatra, Shirley MacLaine, Maurice Chevalier
Anything Goes (1956)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Bill Benson and Ted Adams are to appear in a Broadway show together and, while in Paris, each 'discovers' the perfect leading lady for the plum female role. Each promises the prize role to ... See full summary »

Director: Robert Lewis
Stars: Bing Crosby, Donald O'Connor, Zizi Jeanmaire


Cast overview, first billed only:
Anthony 'Scooter' Teague ...
Bud Frump (as Anthony Teague)
Maureen Arthur ...
Hedy LaRue
John Myhers ...
Carol Worthington ...
Kay Reynolds ...
Miss Smith aka Smitty
Ruth Kobart ...
Sammy Smith ...
Twimble - Wally Womper
Jeff DeBenning ...
Gatch (as Jeff Debenning)
Janice Carroll ...
Robert Q. Lewis ...
Paul Hartman ...
Dan Tobin ...


Twenty-seven year old New York window washer, J. Pierpont Finch, believes he can be a success in the corporate world after he impulsively picks up the book "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying". The book promises its reader that he can climb the corporate ladder simply and quickly. The Worldwide Wicket Corporation, the business in the office building whose windows he washes is, according to the book, the perfect type of business. There he meets secretary Rosemary Pilkington, who sees in Ponty (as she calls him) an unassuming man who she believes the corporate world will eat alive. But Ponty, memorizing what the book tells him, does quickly climb the corporate ladder but not by doing any real work. Ponty has a few obstacles along the way such as: Bud Frump who sees Ponty as a rival and is the nephew by marriage of the company president J.B. Biggley; Hedy La Rue, a curvaceous but simple woman who has a secret or not-so-secret tie to someone important in the company; Mr. ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A Word of Caution : See This Picture Before You're Boss Does! See more »


Comedy | Musical


Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

9 March 1967 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

How to Succeed in Business...  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The song "Coffee Break" was filmed, but the footage was later deemed unusable, leaving a somewhat obvious cut when the coffee cart arrives. See more »


Although Finch's rise to top of corporate world is supposedly pegged to sequential chapters of same-named title book he reads throughout movie, his progress through text isn't sequential - even near end of movie he is seen poring over beginning chapters for next bit of ladder-climbing advice. See more »


J. B. Biggley: Wally, who's going to be the new chairman of the board, as if I didn't know?
Bud Frump: I'll kill myself!
Mr. Twimble: [as Wally Womper] Ponty, it's your baby now.
See more »


Been a Long Day
Written by Frank Loesser
Performed by Robert Morse, Michelle Lee, Rudy Vallee, Kay Reynolds,
Maureen Arthur and Anthony 'Scooter' Teague
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Good Musical, Excellent Score and Great Performance by Rudy Vallee
9 January 2000 | by See all my reviews

I've lived in the Metropolitan New York area all my life but the first musical I ever saw was the revival of How to Succeed in Business with Matthew Broderick in the title role. This prompted me to purchase the original musical with Robert Morse and I was not disappointed. My wife preferred the live musical, however what attracted me to the video was the performance of Rudy Vallee as Mr Bigly. Frank Loesser's score is marvelous, I think that the song "The Company Way" is a humorous parody of those corporate types who risk nothing that will damage their careers. This video is one that I've watched over and over and I can recommend to any musical lovers other than ardent feminists who might be turned off by the 1960s type relationships between the men and women.

23 of 23 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Sexist? derekcsea
Remake? kf_sales
Missing songs agraff1
Our School Play... promodynamo
What is a wicket? SirGolfy
Anyone else think Smitty is hotter than Rosemary? old_tv_guy

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: