7.3/10
3,488
47 user 13 critic

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.

Director:

Writers:

(book), (book) | 3 more credits »
Reviews

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC
2 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Damn Yankees! (1958)
Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A frustrated fan of the hopeless Washington Senators makes a pact with the Devil to help the 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
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
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Drama | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Three soldiers meet 10 years after their last meeting in New York, and find out that they have little in common now.

Directors: Stanley Donen, Gene Kelly
Stars: Gene Kelly, Dan Dailey, Cyd Charisse
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
Fitzwilly (1967)
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

When Miss Vicki's father dies, she becomes the world's greatest philanthropist. Unfortunately, she is flat broke! Her loyal butler, Claude Fitzwilliam, leads the household staff to rob from... See full summary »

Director: Delbert Mann
Stars: Dick Van Dyke, Barbara Feldon, John McGiver
Kiss Me Kate (1953)
Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

An ex-husband and wife team star in a musical version of 'The Taming of the Shrew'; off-stage, the production is troublesome with ex-lovers' quarrels and a gangster looking for some money owed to them.

Director: George Sidney
Stars: Kathryn Grayson, Howard Keel, Ann Miller
Hello, Dolly! (1969)
Adventure | Comedy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Matchmaker Dolly Levi travels to Yonkers to find a partner for "half-a-millionaire" Horace Vandergelder, convincing his niece, his niece's intended, and his two clerks to travel to New York City along the way.

Director: Gene Kelly
Stars: Barbra Streisand, Walter Matthau, Michael Crawford
Comedy | Drama | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

An Iowa pajama factory worker falls in love with an affable superintendent who had been hired by the factory's boss to help oppose the workers' demand for a pay rise.

Directors: George Abbott, Stanley Donen
Stars: Doris Day, John Raitt, Carol Haney
Carousel (1956)
Drama | Fantasy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Fifteen years after his death, a carousel barker is granted permission to return to Earth for one day to make amends to his widow and their daughter.

Director: Henry King
Stars: Gordon MacRae, Shirley Jones, Cameron Mitchell
The Music Man (1962)
Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Harold Hill poses as a boys' band leader to con naive Iowa townsfolk.

Director: Morton DaCosta
Stars: Robert Preston, Shirley Jones, Buddy Hackett
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A man gives his co-worker a series of lessons on how to cheat on one's wife without being caught.

Director: Gene Kelly
Stars: Walter Matthau, Inger Stevens, Sue Ane Langdon
Edit

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 ...
...
Dan Tobin ...
Edit

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:

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

Genres:

Comedy | Musical

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

9 March 1967 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

How to Succeed in Business...  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The Mirisch Company paid $1,000,000 for the film rights, an astronomical figure in 1964. See more »

Goofs

When Finch picks up a copy of the How To Succeed book at the newsstand, he leaves without paying for it. See more »

Quotes

Hedy LaRue: I have nothing to hide!
Rosemary: Yes you do, and you keep it hidden!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in That Girl: Kiss That Girl Goodbye (1969) See more »

Soundtracks

Gotta Stop That Man
(uncredited)
Written by Frank Loesser
Performed by Robert Morse and executives
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Stinging Satire
23 May 2005 | by (Dallas, Texas) – See all my reviews

In this film version of the 1960's Broadway musical that won 7 Tony Awards, Robert Morse (Tony winner) plays J. Pierpont Finch, a New York City window washer, who takes the advice of a how-to-succeed book, and quickly ascends the corporate ladder.

This is one of the best musicals ever made. The songs are forceful and original. The dialogue is sharp-witted. The plot is a hoot. The pace is brisk. And the casting is perfect. In addition to a superbly funny Morse, the film features talented Michele Lee, and the great Rudy Vallee. Of special mention is Maureen Arthur. She is hilarious as the curvaceous (39-22-38), but vacuous secretary, Miss Hedy LaRue. In one scene, Finch asks her if she can type fast; her self-confident response: "like a jack rabbit, 12 words a minute".

Underneath the humor, "How To Succeed In Business ..." is, of course, a scathing indictment of corporate culture. The film also takes a gleefully irreverent jab at pop-psychology books.

The visuals look dated now, with those awful 60's hats and hairdos, and that bright orange, yellow, and red decor; yet, even that is part of the film's charm.

"How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying" is wonderfully entertaining. And its biting social commentary is as timely now as it was in 1967.


45 of 47 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?