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How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying ()


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Armed with the titular manual, an ambitious window washer seeks to climb the corporate ladder.

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Cast verified as complete

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...
J. Pierpont Finch
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Rosemary Pilkington
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Jasper B. Biggley
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Bud Frump (as Anthony Teague)
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Hedy LaRue
John Myhers ...
Bert O. Bratt
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Lucille Krumholtz
Kathryn Reynolds ...
Miss Smith aka Smitty (as Kay Reynolds)
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Miss Jones
Sammy Smith ...
Twimble / Wally Womper
Jeff DeBenning ...
Gatch (as Jeff Debenning)
Janice Carroll ...
Brenda
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Tackaberry
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Toynbee
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Johnson
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Matthews
Justin Smith ...
Jenkins
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Benjamin Ovington
Patrick O'Moore ...
Media Man No. 1
Lory Patrick ...
Receptionist
Wally Strauss ...
Media Man No. 2
Hy Averback ...
2nd Junior Executive
George Fenneman ...
Himself / TV Announcer
Carl Princi ...
1st Junior Executive
Sheila Rogers ...
1st Girl
Robert Sweeney ...
3rd Junior Executive
Ivan Volkman ...
The President
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Walter Bacon ...
Treasure Hunter (uncredited)
Paul Bradley ...
TV Board Member / Junior Executive / Dancer (uncredited)
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Party Guest (uncredited)
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Broker (uncredited)
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TV Board Member (uncredited)
Joey Faye ...
Taxi Driver (uncredited)
Bobby Gilbert ...
Treasure Hunter (uncredited)
George Golden ...
Treasure Hunter (uncredited)
Don Koll ...
Executive (uncredited)
Al Nesor ...
Newseller (uncredited)
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Mrs. Frump (uncredited)
Barry O'Hara ...
Executive (uncredited)
Howard Parker ...
Dancer (uncredited)
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Cleaning Woman (uncredited)
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Gertrude Biggley (uncredited)
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Passerby / Dancing Executive (uncredited)
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Elevator Operator (uncredited)
Hal Taggart ...
TV Board Member (uncredited)
Arthur Tovey ...
Minister with Large Bible (uncredited)
Helen Verbit ...
Mrs. Needlebaum - Finch's Landlady (uncredited)

Directed by

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David Swift

Written by

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Abe Burrows ... (book) and
Jack Weinstock ... (book) and
Willie Gilbert ... (book)
 
Shepherd Mead ... (novel)
 
David Swift ... (written by)

Produced by

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David Swift ... producer
Irving Temaner ... associate producer
Walter Mirisch ... executive producer (uncredited)

Music by

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Nelson Riddle ... (uncredited)

Cinematography by

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Burnett Guffey

Film Editing by

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Allan Jacobs
Ralph E. Winters

Casting By

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Shirley Mellner

Art Direction by

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Robert F. Boyle ... (as Robert Boyle)

Set Decoration by

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Edward G. Boyle

Costume Design by

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Micheline

Makeup Department

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Robert J. Schiffer ... makeup artist
Fae M. Smith ... hair stylist

Production Management

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Nate H. Edwards ... unit manager
Allen K. Wood ... production supervisor

Second Unit Director or Assistant Director

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John D. Bloss ... assistant director
Michael J. Dmytryk ... assistant director

Art Department

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Mary Blair ... color designer
Sam Gordon ... property master
William Maldonado ... construction coordinator

Sound Department

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Robert Martin ... sound
Clem Portman ... sound re-recordist
James Richard ... sound editor
James D. Young ... assistant sound editor (uncredited)

Visual Effects by

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Virgil Partch ... visual gags

Camera and Electrical Department

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Don Stott ... gaffer (uncredited)

Costume and Wardrobe Department

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Leslie Hall ... costumer: women
Ed Ware ... costumer: men

Music Department

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Richard Carruth ... music editor
Bob Fosse ... original musical stager
Jimmy Joyce ... vocal supervisor
Frank Loesser ... music and lyrics by
Nelson Riddle ... conductor / music supervisor

Other crew

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Abe Burrows ... director: stage play
Cy Feuer ... stage producer
Marie Kenney ... script supervisor
Ernest H. Martin ... stage producer
Dale Moreda ... choreographer
Charles Mulvehill ... production associate
Norman Stuart ... dialogue supervisor
Edward Folger ... production assistant (uncredited)
Crew verified as complete

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Storyline

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Plot Summary

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. Ovington, an executive who Ponty can't figure out; and Ponty possibly making a fatal error by not reading far enough ahead in the book. Ponty ultimately has to decide if climbing to the top of the ladder is worth stepping on all those along the way and risk losing the love of Rosemary. In the end telling the truth may set him free. Written by Huggo

Plot Keywords
Taglines Nothing Succeeds Like "Succeed" ! ! See more »
Genres
Parents Guide View content advisory »
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Additional Details

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Also Known As
  • How to Succeed in Business... (United States)
  • Wie man Erfolg hat, ohne sich besonders anzustrengen (Germany)
  • Cómo triunfar sin dar golpe (Spain)
  • Miten menestyä liike-elämässä yrittämättä liikaa (Finland)
  • Как Преуспеть В Бизнесе Без Особых Усилий (Russia)
  • See more »
Runtime
  • 121 min
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Did You Know?

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Trivia The scene featuring Robert Morse skipping & dancing down the street on his way to work (immediately after the "Old Ivy" fight song duet with Rudy Vallee) was filmed on location in New York City using hidden cameras and a small earpiece to cue Morse on his timing. The various amused & astonished passersby were not extras, but rather were New Yorkers reacting genuinely to someone dancing to his own tune. See more »
Goofs During opening credits number, Robert Morse and a young fellow window washer board an electric scaffolding in exterior rooftop shot, but by next scene when scaffolding has descended a few floors, co-worker is now a much older man with much less hair. See more »
Movie Connections Featured in Brotherhood of Man (1999). See more »
Soundtracks How To See more »
Quotes J. B. Biggley: I know blood is thicker than water, but Bud Frump is thicker than anything.
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