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The Secret of My Succe$s (1987)

PG-13 | | Comedy, Romance | 10 April 1987 (USA)
0:31 | Trailer

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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 »
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.


Comedy | Romance


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?


A sequel was proposed, but never made. See more »


The office that Brantley takes over as Carlton is a corner office, with windows on 2 adjacent walls. When Carlton (Brantley) is working late and trying to convince Christy about his ideas, the exterior shot of the building shows several offices with lights on, then fades to a shot with only 1 office light on, in the middle of the building, which could not be Carlton's office. See more »


Vera Prescott: I'm going to introduce you to the most powerful money men in New York, and if you can do to them what you've done to me...
Brantley Foster: I can't do that!
Vera Prescott: I mean bowl them over, darling! You're irresistible when you turn on that boyish charm.
See more »


References The Wizard of Oz (1939) See more »


Written, Performed and Produced by David Foster
David Foster appears courtesy of Atlantic Records
See more »

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User Reviews

It's Vera Prescott who steals the show!
6 January 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Okay, Michael J. Fox stars as a Midwestern college graduate who moves to New York City to conquer the business world. He is completely unprepared as Brantley Foster. He is so desperate that he contacts a distant cousin, Richard Prescott, for help breaking in to the business world of New York City. Along the way, he meets his aunt Vera Prescott, played by the delicious Margaret Whitton who really steals the show in this role. He also falls in love with Christy Wills who works there and is played admirably by Helen Slater. John Pankow plays the guy in the mail room who helps Brantley. The cast is first rate but the writing is somewhat mediocre material. It's a good entertainment with a first rate cast and the scenes in the country are quite beautiful.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Was this movie underrated? brensta16
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
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