IMDb > How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying (1967)
How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying
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How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying -- Armed with a "How to..." manual, an ambitious window washer seeks to climb the corporate ladder.


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Down 4% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Abe Burrows (book) and
Jack Weinstock (book) ...
View company contact information for How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
9 March 1967 (USA) See more »
Nothing Succeeds Like "Succeed" ! ! See more »
Armed with a "How to..." manual, an ambitious window washer seeks to climb the corporate ladder. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
2 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
A Sharp Rap Across The Corporate Knuckles See more (46 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Robert Morse ... J. Pierpont Finch

Michele Lee ... Rosemary Pilkington

Rudy Vallee ... Jasper B. Biggley
Anthony 'Scooter' Teague ... Bud Frump (as Anthony Teague)
Maureen Arthur ... Hedy LaRue
John Myhers ... Bert O. Bratt
Carol Worthington ... Lucille Krumholtz
Kay Reynolds ... Miss Smith aka Smitty
Ruth Kobart ... Miss Jones
Sammy Smith ... Twimble - Wally Womper
Jeff DeBenning ... Gatch (as Jeff Debenning)
Janice Carroll ... Brenda
Robert Q. Lewis ... Tackaberry
Paul Hartman ... Toynbee
Dan Tobin ... Johnson
John Holland ... Matthews
Justin Smith ... Jenkins
Murray Matheson ... Benjamin Ovington
Patrick O'Moore ... Media Man No. 1
Lory Patrick ... Receptionist
Wally Strauss ... Media Man No. 2
Hy Averback ... 2nd Junior Executive
George Fenneman ... Himself / TV Announcer
Carl Princi ... 1st Junior Executive
Sheila Rogers ... 1st Girl
Robert Sweeney ... 3rd Junior Executive
Ivan Volkman ... The President
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Walter Bacon ... Treasure Hunter (uncredited)
Paul Bradley ... TV Board Member / Junior Executive / Dancer (uncredited)
George Bruggeman ... Party Guest (uncredited)

Ron Charles ... Broker (uncredited)
George DeNormand ... TV Board Member (uncredited)
Joey Faye ... Taxi Driver (uncredited)
Bobby Gilbert ... Treasure Hunter (uncredited)
George Golden ... Treasure Hunter (uncredited)
Don Koll ... Executive (uncredited)
Al Nesor ... Newseller (uncredited)
Erin O'Brien-Moore ... Mrs. Frump (uncredited)
Barry O'Hara ... Executive (uncredited)
Howard Parker ... Dancer (uncredited)
Virginia Sale ... Cleaning Woman (uncredited)

Anne Seymour ... Gertrude Biggley (uncredited)

Tucker Smith ... Passerby / Dancing Executive (uncredited)
David Swift ... Elevator Operator (uncredited)
Hal Taggart ... TV Board Member (uncredited)
Arthur Tovey ... Minister with Large Bible (uncredited)
Helen Verbit ... Mrs. Needlebaum - Finch's Landlady (uncredited)

Directed by
David Swift 
Writing credits
Abe Burrows (book) and
Jack Weinstock (book) and
Willie Gilbert (book)

Shepherd Mead (novel)

David Swift (written by)

Produced by
David Swift .... producer
Irving Temaner .... associate producer
Walter Mirisch .... executive producer (uncredited)
Original Music by
Nelson Riddle (uncredited)
Cinematography by
Burnett Guffey 
Film Editing by
Allan Jacobs 
Ralph E. Winters 
Casting by
Shirley Mellner 
Art Direction by
Robert F. Boyle  (as Robert Boyle)
Set Decoration by
Edward G. Boyle 
Costume Design by
Makeup Department
Robert J. Schiffer .... makeup artist
Fae M. Smith .... hair stylist
Production Management
Nate H. Edwards .... unit manager
Allen K. Wood .... production supervisor
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
John D. Bloss .... assistant director
Michael J. Dmytryk .... assistant director
Art Department
Mary Blair .... color designer
Sam Gordon .... property master
William Maldonado .... construction coordinator
Sound Department
Robert Martin .... sound
Clem Portman .... sound re-recordist
James Richard .... sound editor
James D. Young .... assistant sound editor (uncredited)
Visual Effects by
Virgil Partch .... visual gags
Camera and Electrical Department
Don Stott .... gaffer (uncredited)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Leslie Hall .... costumer: women
Ed Ware .... costumer: men
Music Department
Richard Carruth .... music editor
Bob Fosse .... original musical stager
Jimmy Joyce .... vocal supervisor
Frank Loesser .... music and lyrics by
Nelson Riddle .... conductor
Nelson Riddle .... music supervisor
Other crew
Abe Burrows .... director: stage play
Cy Feuer .... stage producer
Marie Kenney .... script supervisor
Ernest H. Martin .... stage producer
Dale Moreda .... choreographer
Charles Mulvehill .... production associate
Norman Stuart .... dialogue supervisor
Edward Folger .... production assistant (uncredited)
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"How to Succeed in Business..." - USA (short title)
See more »
121 min
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Westrex Recording System)
Australia:G | Canada:14A (video rating) | Finland:S | Netherlands:AL (orginal rating) | Singapore:PG | Sweden:Btl | UK:U | USA:Approved (certificate #21357)

Did You Know?

The music during Miss Jones' first entrance is the same music that Nelson Riddle used as the Penguin's Theme in the "Batman" (1966) TV show.See more »
Errors made by characters (possibly deliberate errors by the filmmakers): When Finch is showing his advertising campaign to the directors, J.B Biggley says, "Bravo, J.B, you've done it again!" to Finch, using his own name.See more »
[Song lyrics]
Smitty:Now she's thinking:
Rosemary:I wish that he were more of a flirt.
Smitty:And he's thinking:
J. Pierpont Finch:I guess a little flirting won't hurt.
Smitty:Now she's thinking:
Rosemary:For dinner we could meet.
Smitty:And he's thinking:
J. Pierpont Finch:We both've gotta eat.
Smitty:And she says:
See more »
Movie Connections:
RosemarySee more »


Chicago Opening Happened When?
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11 out of 12 people found the following review useful.
A Sharp Rap Across The Corporate Knuckles, 4 May 2005
Author: gftbiloxi ( from Biloxi, Mississippi

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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Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Anyone else think Smitty is hotter than Rosemary? old_tv_guy
Entire Broadway production brought to Hollywood? Cynthia-Kinman
Sexist? derekcsea
Finch is a thief. Soujurn
What musical instrument plays in "I Believe in You" when Ponty's shaving ThisIsOrsonWelles
Missing songs agraff1
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