6.5/10
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The Secret of My Succe$s (1987)

PG-13 | | Comedy, Romance | 10 April 1987 (USA)
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
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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
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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 | Romance

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

Budget:

$12,000,000 (estimated)

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

Chris Marney, the mail room boss, bears a striking resemblance to Robert Morse, who played a Brantley Whitfield like part in "How to Succeed in Business... without really trying". In that film, the first rule of success was " Get out of the mail room as soon as possible!" See more »

Goofs

When Brantley/Carlton enters his empty office for the first time and sits behind the desk, the phone rings, and he answers a gray phone. A few shots later and the phone is now black. See more »

Quotes

[on entering his newly rented apartment]
Brantley Foster: All right, listen up. If there are any bugs in here, or rats, or anything that has more legs than I do, you just stay on your side of the room, okay? I'll stay on mine. I should warn you, I'm packing an iron.
See more »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

Heaven and the Heartaches
Written by David Cumming and Jeff Nead
Performed by Taxxi
Courtesy of MCA 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.


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