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The Secret of My Succe$s (1987)

PG-13  |   |  Comedy  |  10 April 1987 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 21,892 users  
Reviews: 71 user | 26 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.



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


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


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




PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

10 April 1987 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Secret of My Success  »

Box Office


$12,000,000 (estimated)


$66,995,879 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The book that can be seen on Vera's bed when Howard sneaks out of the bedroom is Chéri and The Last of Chéri written by Colette. See more »


When Prescott and his executives stop for a moment to check their pulse while running on the roof, one of them starts to look at his watch.. but it's not there. So he looks over the shoulder of another, and then suddenly the watch appears. See more »


Barney Rattigan: Any questions?
Brantley Foster aka Carlton Whitfield: Yeah, what do I call you?
Barney Rattigan: You call me God.
See more »


Spoofs Jaws (1975) See more »


Come Get My Love
Written by Robert Marcial
Performed by TKA
Courtesy of Tommy Boy Records
See more »

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User Reviews

good movie
14 May 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The Secret of my Success is one of my all time favorite movies. Michael J. Fox and Helen Slater look very well together and I know no one else could have played in the movie and looked that good. They played their parts extremely well and I would recommend this movie to anyone looking for a (romantic) comedy. I wish that the directors would have done a sequel because I just couldn't get enough. I absolutely love this movie and I have to watch it every time I see it on TV. My 6 year old daughter really gets into the movie as well and says that she absolutely loves the movie also. It is a great family film. Michael J. Fox is just a wonderful actor and Helen Slater is great. I wish that they would have done more films like this one and with these two specific movie stars.

14 of 20 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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