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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 20,980 users  
Reviews: 70 user | 24 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
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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 | 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

'David Watkin' was the film's original cinematographer. According to his autobiography, the reasons for being dismissed were and still are unknown. See more »

Goofs

When Christy comes to work after she and Brantley/Carlton spent the night together, Prescott comes to her office and then she meets him for breakfast. Prescott is wearing a dark suit and red tie. Later, after Brantley meets Christy, and then gets away from Rattigan, Brantley goes to his office to discover Prescott going through Carlton's papers. Prescott is now wearing a light gray suit and a blue tie. He is wearing the light suit in the next scene when he walks in on Brantley and Vera in his (Prescott's) office. See more »

Quotes

Christy Wills: Just tell me one more time what your solution is to this crisis.
Brantley Foster: We don't cut, we expand.
[the waitress, Sheila, arrives]
Sheila: I agree. Expansion is a positive reaction to the universe, while retraction, or cutting back, or pulling off, those are all negative forces. I used to be very negative, and then I took this personality workshop - my whole life turned around. Hiya, my name's Sheila. You make a good-looking couple - how long you been going together?
Brantley Foster: About 20 minutes.
Sheila: Ohhhhh, first date, huh? ...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Sledge Hammer!: The Secret of My Excess (1988) See more »

Soundtracks

Feliz Cumbe
Written by Francisco Cruz
Performed by Papo Cadena su sax y orquesta
Courtesy of Kubaney Records
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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
Red hair? dr_hendrix
one glaring goof... glxyjones
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