IMDb > How to Get Ahead in Advertising (1989)
How to Get Ahead in Advertising
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How to Get Ahead in Advertising (1989) More at IMDbPro »

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How to Get Ahead in Advertising -- Trailer for How To Get Ahead In Advertising
How to Get Ahead in Advertising -- US Home Video Trailer from Warner Home Video


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Bruce Robinson (written by)
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Release Date:
29 March 1990 (West Germany) See more »
The Career Where Two Heads Are Better Than One
Dennis Dimbleby Bagley is a brilliant young advertising executive who can't come up with a slogan to sell a revolutionary new pimple cream... See more » | Add synopsis »
(26 articles)
User Reviews:
If your head comes away from your neck ...It's over See more (33 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Richard E. Grant ... Denis Dimbleby Bagley

Rachel Ward ... Julia Bagley

Richard Wilson ... John Bristol
Jacqueline Tong ... Penny Wheelstock

John Shrapnel ... Psychiatrist
Susan Wooldridge ... Monica
Hugh Armstrong ... Harry Wax
Mick Ford ... Richard
Jacqueline Pearce ... Maud

Christopher Simon ... Waiter
Gino Melvazzi ... Waiter
Victor Lucas ... Tweedy Man
Dawn Keeler ... Tweedy Woman
Kerryann White ... Girl in Elevator
Vivienne McKone ... Sullivan Bristol Receptionist
Donald Hoath ... Businessman on Train
John Levitt ... Businessman on Train
Gordon Gostelow ... Priest

Pip Torrens ... Jonathan

Tony Slattery ... Basil

Rachel Fielding ... Jennifer
Pauline Melville ... Mrs. Wallace
Roddy Maude-Roxby ... Dr. Gatty

Francesca Longrigg ... Nurse

Tanveer Ghani ... Hospital Doctor
Joanna Mays ... Phillis Blokey

Sean Bean ... Larry Frisk
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Eric Idle ... Male Love Bird (voice) (uncredited)

Bruce Robinson ... The Boil (voice) (uncredited)

Directed by
Bruce Robinson 
Writing credits
Bruce Robinson (written by)

Produced by
Ray Cooper .... co-producer
George Harrison .... executive producer
Denis O'Brien .... executive producer
David Wimbury .... producer
Original Music by
David Dundas 
Rick Wentworth 
Cinematography by
Peter Hannan 
Film Editing by
Alan Strachan 
Casting by
Lucy Boulting 
Production Design by
Michael Pickwoad 
Art Direction by
Henry Harris 
Set Decoration by
Robyn Hamilton-Doney 
Costume Design by
Andrea Galer 
Makeup Department
Peter Frampton .... makeup creation
Peter Frampton .... makeup designer
Sue Love .... hair stylist
Production Management
Kathy Sykes .... production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Dominic Allen .... assistant director
Peter Kohn .... assistant director
Melvin Lind .... assistant director
Art Department
Les Andrews .... art stand-by
John Bastin .... construction
Pete Beasley .... construction
Frank Berlin .... construction
Bruce Bigg .... property master
Peter Bigg .... dressing props
Peter Browne .... art stand-by
Alan Chesters .... construction manager
Stan Cook .... dressing props
Charles Cottrell .... construction
Martin Duffy .... construction
Peter Duffy .... construction (as Peter Duffey)
Jim Foran .... construction
Les Henning .... construction
Danny Hunter .... art stand-by
David Ned Kelly .... art stand-by (as Ned Kelly)
Patrick Lynch .... construction
Dennis Maddison .... props buyer
Larry Marchant .... construction
Don McLellan .... construction
Brian Morris .... art stand-by
John Robertson .... art stand-by
Ray Rose .... dressing props
Brian Webb .... construction
Michael Webb .... construction
Sound Department
Allan Brereton .... sound maintenance
Alan Paley .... sound editor
Trevor Rutherford .... boom operator
Paul Smith .... dialogue editor
Otto Snel .... dubbing mixer
Clive Winter .... sound mixer
David Stephenson .... sound recordist (uncredited)
Special Effects by
Sue Higgins .... foam
Ruth Hogg .... special effects runner
Richard Neal .... special effects sculptor
Daniel Parker .... animatronic constructor
Mike Quinn .... puppeteer (as Mike Quinby)
Luke Sawh .... special effects runner
David White .... animatronics
Nik Williams .... animatronic constructor
Camera and Electrical Department
Sophie Baker .... still photographer
Adam Cooper .... camera loader
Alan Grosch .... electrician
Brian Martin .... best boy
Andrew McDade .... electrician
Reg Parsons .... gaffer
Luke Quigley .... grip
Ronnie Rampton .... electrician
Bob Smith .... camera operator
Stefan Stankowski .... focus puller
John Turner .... electrician
Casting Department
Marilyn Milgrom .... casting secretary
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Heather Williams .... wardrobe
Editorial Department
Pat Brennan .... assistant editor
Paula Connor .... assistant editor
Peter Holt .... associate editor
Kevin Lane .... assistant editor
Sarah Thomas .... assembly editor
Music Department
Keith Grant .... music engineer
Gerry O'Riordan .... assistant music engineer
Rick Wentworth .... conductor
Rick Wentworth .... orchestrator
Transportation Department
Mike Beaver .... transportation
Roy Clarke .... transportation
Dave Manning .... transportation
Other crew
Bobby Blues .... production accountant (as Bob Blues)
Vicky Burton .... trainee
Gilly Case .... location manager
Stephanie Clark .... production secretary
Valerie Craig .... production coordinator
Gordon Davis .... assistant accountant
Lynn Hoey .... runner
Jacky Holding .... accounts secretary
Sally Jones .... script supervisor
Lorraine Luke .... trainee
Graham Norton III .... trainee (as Graham Norton)
Libby Shearon .... unit publicist
Guy Tannahill .... location assistant
Inger Best .... special thanks
John Buckley .... special thanks
Cathy Bunce .... special thanks
Denis Carrigan .... special thanks
Marigold Charrington .... special thanks
Bob Crowdy .... special thanks
Neil Grimshaw .... special thanks
Rand Holston .... special thanks
Richard Kuttner .... special thanks
Lee Martin .... special thanks
Gerry O'Riordan .... special thanks (as Gerry O'Riorden)
Paul Olliver .... special thanks
Ronnie Pearce .... special thanks
Anthony Price .... special thanks
Mary Selway .... special thanks
Willy Smax .... special thanks
Martin Sponticcia .... special thanks
John Stanborough .... special thanks
Ralph Steadman .... special thanks
Paul Talkington .... special thanks
Ian Weil .... special thanks
Crew believed to be complete

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Additional Details

Also Known As:
90 min
Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

The classic Aston Martin seen in the Bagleys' garage belonged to writer/director Bruce Robinson. A 1961 DB4 Convertible of which only 70 were made, he owned it for 30 years and it was auctioned off in 2008.See more »
Continuity: After Bagley has lunch with his wife, she drops him back at the advertising firm's office building, but it is a different building to the one used for the interior scenes, which is the tall red building several hundred yards up the street (visible in the crane shot of their car pulling up), right next to the Lambeth bridge, as we can see from the window view in the scenes in Bagley's and Bristol's offices.See more »
[first lines]
Denis Dimbleby Bagley:Let me try and clarify some of this for you. Best Company Supermarkets are not interested in selling wholesome foods. They are not worried about the nation's health. What is concerning them, is that the nation appears to be getting worried about its health...
See more »
Movie Connections:
Jupiter, the Bringer of Jollity from the Planets Op. 32See more »


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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful.
If your head comes away from your neck ...It's over, 26 June 2008
Author: cosmorados from United Kingdom

Denis Bagley is a hot-shot advertiser who can do no wrong. he knows his client as well as he knows his own face, he can tell anybody who stars at the goggle box what to do, what to think and what to buy? His words are weapons of the consumer age and he will sell anything to anyone. Money is his to have and the general public buys what he tells them, giving him the power of a God. However, as he strikes a bit of a problem over pimple cream he starts to lose his edge, he is cnfronted by the realisation that maybe he is not the person he thinks he is, or wants to be, as he listens to a conversation on a train over a story written by the other people who tell everyone what to do, the popular press, he bursts the bubble of those discussing the story by pointing out that a bag of cannabis that could have contained cocaine, could also have contained a pork pie.

"It's the use of the word "Could"" Denis exclaims, as he realises that perhaps, the power that he has is being misused. As he decides to rid himself of advertising and turn a new leaf. However as he starts to develop a painful boil on his neck he starts to have anxiety pains over this turn of direction, resulting in his boil growing a face and speaking to him.

What happens from this point is a tour-de-force satire on the modern world that was arguably twenty years before its time as the commercial markets freedom has led to our current crop of problems, rather than to their solutions. Richard E Grent is amazing as the Ad Exec with an attack of conscience that takes on alarming results, with able support from Rachel Ward and Richard Wilson. The direction is good, but it is the razor sharp script that gets all the plaudits by challenging our perception of the real world as much as the Matrix, but with the certain knowledge that the questions raised in this film, we can address as the credits come up.

Know thyself.

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Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for How to Get Ahead in Advertising (1989)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
How did everyone discover this film? justsomerandomirrelevantweirdo
Great mock ads... VivaAcetate
voice of boil? (sort of spoiler) lovecomesinspurts
Did the boil have a name? llbrokenmindedll
the love birds slduncan79
Does anyone else see the hypocisy?! ozkit2003
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