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The Secret of My Succe$s (1987)

PG-13  |   |  Comedy  |  10 April 1987 (USA)
6.4
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 21,453 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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Barney Rattigan
...
Art Thomas
...
Donald Davenport
...
Jean (as Carol-Ann Susi)
...
Grace Foster
...
Burt Foster
...
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 | Plot 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:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Cinematographer Carlo Di Palma visually designed the movie's shot to be a pictorial presentation of the main characters' dreams and ambitions. See more »

Goofs

During the hostile takeover, Davenport is alternately resting his chin on his right hand/playing with a pen using the same hand between shots. See more »

Quotes

Unnamed employer: I'm sorry, Mister...
Brantley Foster: Foster.
Unnamed employer: I'm sorry, Mr. Foster. We need someone with experience.
Brantley Foster: But how can I get any experience until I get a job that GIVES me experience?
Unnamed employer: If we gave you a job just to give you experience, you'd take that experience and get a better job. Then that experience would benefit someone else.
Brantley Foster: Yeah, but I was trained in college to handle a job like this, so in a sense I already have experience.
Unnamed employer: What you've got is college experience, not the practical, hard-nosed business ...
[...]
See more »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

Theme from 'Jaws'
Music composed and conducted by John Williams
Courtesy of MCA Records
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Corporate America under the Microscope
11 September 2005 | by See all my reviews

Whenever I see groups of people in suits slaving away at their laptops and wonder what they are doing, I am reminded of this film. The suits who don't talk to the mailroom staff, whose ties cut off the flow of blood to their brains, and who cut down the effectiveness of their company are looked at with a jaundiced eye.

Is it possible for a someone from the mailroom to open up an office, get himself a secretary, and start operating within the organisation as a suit? It's ridiculous, of course. Utter fantasy. Or is it? I would find it unbelievable, had I not witnessed for myself the kind of conditions that would allow this sort of thing to happen in a large organisation. I dare say anyone who had the nerve could do it.

Michael J Fox turns in a good performance as the protagonist. Fred Gwynne is very photogenic, and Margaret Whitton is excellent as the protagonist's leggy, amorous aunt-in-law.

This film is well worth watching.


13 of 16 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
one glaring goof... glxyjones
Red hair? dr_hendrix
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