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The Secret of My Succe$s (1987)

 -  Comedy  -  10 April 1987 (USA)
6.4
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 19,587 users  
Reviews: 70 user | 25 critic

A talented young man can't get an executive position without rising through the ranks, so he comes up with a shortcut, which also benefits his love life.

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(screenplay), (screenplay), 2 more credits »
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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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...
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Barney Rattigan
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Art Thomas
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Donald Davenport
...
Jean (as Carol-Ann Susi)
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Grace Foster
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Burt Foster
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Maureen
Barton Heyman ...
Arnold Forbush
...
Ira Wheeler ...
Owens (as Ira B. Wheeler)
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Storyline

Brantley Foster, a well-educated kid from Kansas, has always dreamed of making it big in New York. On his first work day in New York, he is fired in a hostile take-over and learns that jobs - and girls - are hard to get. When Brantley visits his distant uncle, Howard Prescott, who runs a multi-million-dollar company, he is given a job in the company's mail room. Then Brantley meets Christy Wills, who happens to be one of the top executives. Brantley sees how poorly the company is being run and decides to create a position under the name Carlton Whitfield, to influence and improve the company's operations. Soon things get unexpectedly out of hand, not in the least because of his aunt, his girl and leading a double life. Written by watzdabigdeal

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

There's no such thing as an overnight success. Brantley Foster took two weeks.

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

10 April 1987 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Secret of My Success  »

Box Office

Gross:

$66,995,879 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Unused music by John Williams. See more »

Goofs

During the scene where Brentley is escaping the dogs by jumping over the fence, in the first cut you can see the dogs clambering after him and in the next cut they're nowhere to be seen. See more »

Quotes

Brantley Foster: Just when I thought it was safe to go back in the water.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Moone Boy: Handball Duel (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Oh Yeah
Written by Boris Blank and Dieter Meier
Performed by Yello
Courtesy of Elektra/Asylum Records
by arrangement with Warner Special Products and Phonogram Gmbh
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Typically eighties, but worth watching thanks to Michael J. Fox
23 June 2005 | by (Tessenderlo, Belgium) – See all my reviews

The eighties, the decade of ugly clothes and hairstyles, bad music and easily forgettable movies. But there is one positive aspect about that decade and that is Michael J. Fox. He's probably one of the few actors who started his movie career at those days who I still admire. He's still nice to watch, especially in light weighted comedies like this one.

In fact, the title "The Secret of My Succe$s" already says enough about what you can expect from this movie (also notice the little dollar sign in the title), but I'll give a short resume anyway. It shows how Brantley Foster, a talented and well-educated young man coming from rural Kansas, goes to New York to find a suiting job and a nice girlfriend. But he isn't very successful, no company wants to hire him, because he doesn't have any experience. Before leaving Kansas for the Big Apple, his father had bought him a return ticket home and his mother gave him the address of his in New York living uncle, Howard Prescott, just in case when he should need some help. But what Foster didn't know is that his uncle runs a multi-million-dollar company. When he pays him a visit, he gets a job ... in the mail room. But then he meets Christy Wills, who happens to be one of the top executives. Believing that the best way to win her over is by posing as an executive, Brantley decides to take a position under the name Carlton Whitfield and of course things soon start to get completely out of hand...

I admit that this movie is as 'eighties' as you can get them. I'm pretty sure that no-one of todays directors would be able to make it exactly the way it looks, because they don't write scripts like that anymore and there are no more actors like Fox. The man that comes closest for this kind of role is probably Jim Carrey, but even then you would get a completely different kind of movie. It's probably thanks to Michael J. Fox, who is really very nice in this movie, that I forgot about most of its flaws. Once again he's the boyish, sweet guy and that's probably the best thing this movie has to offer. If it hadn't been for him, almost no-one would ever have seen the movie or would still remember it because the story isn't special and it's too typical for that time period.

All in all this is a fast-paced comedy full of typical eighties clichés, but it works thanks to Michael J. Fox's performance and that's why I still give it a 7/10.


27 of 40 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
He had Sex with his Aunt!!!! nydude6009
Brilliant movie! i cannot believe that my mom let me watch it though. The_Humiliated_Grapes
Brantley's job search in the beginning - question gfnoyes
Name of the song which runs when he sit in the car with his aunt michaeleibich
Red hair? dr_hendrix
one glaring goof... glxyjones
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