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The Secret of My Success (1987)

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

Director:

Herbert Ross

Writers:

Jim Cash (screenplay), Jack Epps Jr. (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Popularity
3,942 ( 2,093)
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Michael J. Fox ... Brantley Foster / Carlton Whitfield
Helen Slater ... Christy Wills
Richard Jordan ... Howard Prescott
Margaret Whitton ... Vera Prescott
John Pankow ... Fred Melrose
Christopher Murney ... Barney Rattigan
Gerry Bamman ... Art Thomas
Fred Gwynne ... Donald Davenport
Carol Ann Susi ... Jean (as Carol-Ann Susi)
Elizabeth Franz ... Grace Foster
Drew Snyder ... Burt Foster
Susan Kellermann ... Maureen
Barton Heyman ... Arnold Forbush
Mercedes Ruehl ... Sheila
Ira Wheeler 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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

10 April 1987 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Secret of My Success See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$12,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$7,766,452, 12 April 1987

Gross USA:

$66,995,879

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$110,996,879
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Brantley Foster and Katrina Leskanich of Katrina & The Waves, who sing "Walking On Sunshine", are from Kansas. See more »

Goofs

When Prescott and his executives stop for a moment to check their pulse while running on the roof, one of them starts to look at his watch.. but it's not there. So he looks over the shoulder of another, and then suddenly the watch appears. See more »

Quotes

Howard Prescott: Why are you wearing a suit?
Brantley Foster: Because of the funeral.
Howard Prescott: Whose funeral?
Brantley Foster: A friend. He died. We buried him.
See more »

Alternate Versions

There are two different ending sequences. In the first, after they leave the boardroom Fred and Vera meet and start to flirt. Christy and Brantley go into the elevator which stops between floors. In the second version, this scene is ommitted and we cut to several weeks later where the two couples climb into a limo and go the opera. The first shows up on the video releases, whereas the second shows up in broadcast versions. See more »


Soundtracks

The Secret of My Success
Written by David Foster, Jack Blades, Tom Keane and Michael Landau
Performed by Night Ranger
Produced by David Foster
Night Ranger appears courtesy of Camel/MCA Records
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Corporate America under the Microscope
11 September 2005 | by loza-1See 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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