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How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying (1967)

Approved | | Comedy, Musical | 9 March 1967 (USA)
Armed with the titular manual, an ambitious window washer seeks to climb the corporate ladder.

Director:

David Swift

Writers:

Abe Burrows (book), Jack Weinstock (book) | 3 more credits »
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2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Robert Morse ... J. Pierpont Finch
Michele Lee ... Rosemary Pilkington
Rudy Vallee ... Jasper B. Biggley
Anthony 'Scooter' Teague ... Bud Frump (as Anthony Teague)
Maureen Arthur ... Hedy LaRue
John Myhers John Myhers ... Bert O. Bratt
Carol Worthington ... Lucille Krumholtz
Kathryn Reynolds Kathryn Reynolds ... Miss Smith aka Smitty (as Kay Reynolds)
Ruth Kobart ... Miss Jones
Sammy Smith Sammy Smith ... Twimble / Wally Womper
Jeff DeBenning Jeff DeBenning ... Gatch (as Jeff Debenning)
Janice Carroll Janice Carroll ... Brenda
Robert Q. Lewis ... Tackaberry
Paul Hartman ... Toynbee
Dan Tobin ... Johnson
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Storyline

Twenty-seven year old New York window washer, J. Pierrepont Finch, believes he can be a success in the corporate world after he impulsively picks up the book "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying". The book promises its reader that he can climb the corporate ladder simply and quickly. The Worldwide Wicket Corporation, the business in the office building whose windows he washes is, according to the book, the perfect type of business. There he meets secretary Rosemary Pilkington, who sees in Ponty (as she calls him) an unassuming man who she believes the corporate world will eat alive. But Ponty, memorizing what the book tells him, does quickly climb the corporate ladder but not by doing any real work. Ponty has a few obstacles along the way such as: Bud Frump who sees Ponty as a rival and is the nephew by marriage of the company president J.B. Biggley; Hedy La Rue, a curvaceous but simple woman who has a secret or not-so-secret tie to someone important in the company; Mr. ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A Word of Caution : See This Picture Before You're Boss Does! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Musical

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

9 March 1967 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

How to Succeed in Business... See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$6,322,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying won the Pulitzer Prize in Drama in 1962. Only nine musicals have won the Pulitzer Prize in drama - one per decade from the 1930s to the 1990s. They are as follows: Of Thee I Sing (1972) from the 1930s, South Pacific (1958) from the 1940s, Fiorello from the 1950s, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying (1967) from the 1960s, A Chorus Line (1985) from the 1970s, American Playhouse: Sunday in the Park with George (1986) from the 1980s, Rent (2005) from the 1990s, Next to Normal from the 2000s and Hamilton from the 2010s. See more »

Goofs

When Finch reports to work early on Saturday morning, the shadows indicate it is midday, not early morning. See more »

Quotes

J. Pierpont Finch: Be patient? Don't you realize I've been working here... well, two whole hours now?
See more »


Soundtracks

I Believe in You
(uncredited)
Written by Frank Loesser
Performed by Robert Morse, Michele Lee and executives
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Stinging Satire
23 May 2005 | by LechuguillaSee all my reviews

In this film version of the 1960's Broadway musical that won 7 Tony Awards, Robert Morse (Tony winner) plays J. Pierpont Finch, a New York City window washer, who takes the advice of a how-to-succeed book, and quickly ascends the corporate ladder.

This is one of the best musicals ever made. The songs are forceful and original. The dialogue is sharp-witted. The plot is a hoot. The pace is brisk. And the casting is perfect. In addition to a superbly funny Morse, the film features talented Michele Lee, and the great Rudy Vallee. Of special mention is Maureen Arthur. She is hilarious as the curvaceous (39-22-38), but vacuous secretary, Miss Hedy LaRue. In one scene, Finch asks her if she can type fast; her self-confident response: "like a jack rabbit, 12 words a minute".

Underneath the humor, "How To Succeed In Business ..." is, of course, a scathing indictment of corporate culture. The film also takes a gleefully irreverent jab at pop-psychology books.

The visuals look dated now, with those awful 60's hats and hairdos, and that bright orange, yellow, and red decor; yet, even that is part of the film's charm.

"How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying" is wonderfully entertaining. And its biting social commentary is as timely now as it was in 1967.


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