47 user 11 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.



(book), (book) | 3 more credits »

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

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 7.3/10 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
Comedy | Musical | Romance
    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
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 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 | Drama | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 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
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
South Pacific (1958)
Musical | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 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
Kiss Me Kate (1953)
Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Fred and Lilly are a divorced pair of actors who are brought together by Cole Porter who has written a musical version of The Taming of the Shrew. Of course, the couple seem to act a great ... See full summary »

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
Funny Lady (1975)
Biography | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Story of singer Fanny Brice's stormy relationship with showman Billy Rose.

Director: Herbert Ross
Stars: Barbra Streisand, James Caan, Omar Sharif
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


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 ...


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


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


Michele Lee's movie debut. See more »


When Finch reports to work early on Saturday morning, the shadows indicate it is midday, not early morning. See more »


[There is music when Finch thinks of Rosemary]
J. Pierpont Finch: Can't you hear it? It's all around me, it's like a beautiful pink sky.
Rosemary: J. Pierpont Finch, what are you...
J. Pierpont Finch: Rosemary, darling, will you please marry J. Pierpont Finch?
Rosemary: NOW I hear it.
See more »


Brotherhood of Man
Written by Frank Loesser
Performed by Robert Morse, Rudy Vallee, John Myhers, Anthony 'Scooter' Teague,
Sammy Smith, Ruth Kobart and the office staff
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.

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

Message Boards

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

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: