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How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying (1967)

Approved | | Comedy, Musical | 9 March 1967 (USA)
Armed with the titular manual, an ambitious window washer seeks to climb the corporate ladder.

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(book), (book) | 3 more credits »
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2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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

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

Taglines:

Of all the Broadway musical comedies that ever made the screen sing out - nothing succeeds like "Succeed"! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Musical

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

9 March 1967 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

How to Succeed in Business...  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The scene featuring Robert Morse skipping & dancing down the street on his way to work (immediately after the "Old Ivy" fight song duet with Rudy Vallee) was filmed on location in New York City using hidden cameras and a small earpiece to cue Morse on his timing. The various amused & astonished passersby were not extras, but rather were New Yorkers reacting genuinely to someone dancing to his own tune. See more »

Goofs

An exterior shot implies that nightfall is descending on New York City at the end of the workday (5pm). This would indicate that it is winter. However, most of the women employees are wearing short-sleeved or sleeveless warm-weather styles, and the CEO mentions that he plans to play golf the next day. See more »

Quotes

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 »

Connections

Spoofs A Tale of Two Cities (1935) See more »

Soundtracks

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

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Much better then I remembered
7 May 2005 | by (Houston) – See all my reviews

I saw this movie on a local PBS station for the first time since it originally came out in the movies. I was only 10 at the time so I didn't get it and I remember not being crazy about it. ALthough the song "I believe in you" was a favorite of mine. I actually looked at the TV schedule to see what else was on. And I vowed to change the channel at 12, the coming hour. But a funny thing happened, I forgot about the other movie and I remained glued to the screen and saw it to the end. The movie is about a window washer who pledges to become a CEO within a short time by reading a "How To Book", hence the title. How delightful to see Michelle Lee singing..what a voice. I didn't remember her singing I Believe in You. Then we have Robert Morse. I was never a big fan of the slap stick comedy ala Jim Carrey Chevy Chase and Robin Wiliams. Robert Morse could give them all a few lessons on playing broad comedy without going over board. Rudy Vallee and the man who played Big Deal in West Side Story (one of my favorite musicals) were hilarious. He was the nephew of the CEO Vallee so we all know what type of character he was playing. We also have the CEO's bimbo girlfriend who wants to get out of the Secretary pool. She actually is not as dumb as we are suppose to think she is. It was a very upbeat funny movie. And for some reason I believe a lot of people in the business world probably know even less then the Robert Morse character, a window washer Maybe they should read the same type of book he was reading. This musical actually would be good if it was just the story. The book could stand on its own. I felt the same way about Carousel. Which deals with very serious issues. The music adds to the story which IMO separates a OK musicals from a great musical. This is a great musical. Oh beware a few songs were cut for the film. The Broadway musical was almost 3 hours, as a lot are. They have intermissions on Broadway. So they cut musical numbers from movie musicals. They did that with Guys and Dolls, one of the great songs at that. HTSIBWRT they cut the Coffee break scene, a great scene. So just as a caution to people who look at movie versions of Broadway musicals. Don't expect to see/hear all of the songs. It's a dumb practice because there are movies made now which are running 3 hours which have a whole lot less going for them then a Broadway musical.


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