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How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying (1967)

 -  Comedy | Musical  -  9 March 1967 (USA)
7.3
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 3,088 users  
Reviews: 46 user | 11 critic

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

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(book), (book), 3 more credits »
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Title: How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying (1967)

How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying (1967) on IMDb 7.3/10

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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 ...
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 ...
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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:

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)

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The original Broadway production of "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying" opened at the Forty-sixth Street Theater in New York on October 14, 1961, ran for 1417 performances and won the 1962 Tony Awards for the Best Musical and Book and was nominated for Best Score. Robert Morse (Winner of the 1962 Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical), Rudy Vallee, Ruth Kobart and Sammy Smith recreated their stage roles for the movie version. See more »

Goofs

When all the secretaries are "working", they first change shoes from white to colored. After they make up their hair and stuff, a man yells "coffee break!" When they all get up to go, they're still wearing their white shoes. See more »

Quotes

Miss Jones: Your wife is on line 2, Mr. Biggley.
J. B. Biggley: Tell her I'm busy, tell her I'm in a meeting, tell her I'm out, damnit, put her on!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Mystery Science Theater 3000: Red Zone Cuba (1994) See more »

Soundtracks

A Secretary Is Not a Toy
(uncredited)
Written by Frank Loesser
Performed by John Myhers, Anthony 'Scooter' Teague and office staff
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
A Sharp Rap Across The Corporate Knuckles
4 May 2005 | by (Biloxi, Mississippi) – See all my reviews

One of the most often overlooked movie musicals of the 1960s is also one of the most successful: the screen version of the Broadway smash HOW TO SUCCEED IN BUSINESS WITHOUT REALLY TRYING, which delivers a sharp comic rap across the corporate knuckles in its tale of a nobody (Robert Morse) who uses a self-help book to rocket up the corporate ladder--and by the time our hero reaches the heights, romantic complications leads him to wonder what price corporate success.

Although the business world has changed quite a bit since 1967, SUCCEED is so dead-on with its attack that even modern corporate leaders will be bloodied from the fray. The company is just large enough so that no one knows what is actually going on, leadership cries out for creative solutions then promptly fires any one who shows a talent for it, and promotion doesn't hinge so much upon ability as it does upon sucking up, backstabbing, and looking like you know what you're doing. There are jabs at dressing for success, the idea that employees don't engage in sexual hankypanky, hidden nepotism, and the importance of belonging to the "right" clubs. And along the way our hero meets the classic business crowd: the company man, the bombshell secretary, the boss' nephew, and a host of largely incompetent yes-men VPs.

The film is very stylized, making no pretense at naturalism per se, and the cast follows suit, playing in a way that blends beautifully with the self-boosting and jingoistic tone that pervades the piece. Robert Morse gives a truly brilliant performance in the lead--and one wonders why Hollywood so seldom used him in later years; Michele Lee, as the secretary who befriends him, is equally fine, and the supporting cast is wonderful all the way around. The musical numbers (which includes such numbers as "The Company Way," "A Secretary Is Not A Toy," "It's Been A Long Day," and "Brotherhood of Man") are remarkably sly and memorably performed. All in all, HOW TO SUCCEED IN BUSINESS WITHOUT REALLY TRYING is sure to appeal to any one who has had the misfortune to grapple with the idiocies of corporate America--and it will almost certainly outrage every "company man" on your city block. Strongly recommended, but make sure you get the widescreen version; pan-and-scan doesn't cut it on this one! Gary F. Taylor, aka GFT, Amazon Reviewer


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