6.5/10
29,194
91 user 35 critic

The Secret of My Success (1987)

PG-13 | | Comedy, Romance | 10 April 1987 (USA)
Trailer
0:31 | Trailer
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 »
Reviews
Popularity
4,935 ( 3,025)
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 1 win. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

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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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Did You Know?

Trivia

Kristy McNichol was Herbert Ross' original choice for lead actress. She was fired two weeks before filming because of fears she might be difficult to work with, due to her bipolar disorder. See more »

Goofs

When Brantley is caught in the robbery cross fire while he is in the phone booth, the glass changes from broken to not broken. See more »

Quotes

Unnamed employer: I'm sorry, Mister...
Brantley Foster: Foster.
Unnamed employer: I'm sorry, Mr. Foster. We need someone with experience.
Brantley Foster: But how can I get any experience until I get a job that GIVES me experience?
Unnamed employer: If we gave you a job just to give you experience, you'd take that experience and get a better job. Then that experience would benefit someone else.
Brantley Foster: Yeah, but I was trained in college to handle a job like this, so in a sense I already have experience.
Unnamed employer: What you've got is college experience, not the practical, hard-nosed business experience ...
[...]
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 »

Connections

Referenced in American Psycho (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

Feliz Cumbe
Written by Francisco Cruz
Performed by Papo Cadena su sax y orquesta
Courtesy of Kubaney Records
See more »

User Reviews

 
Nothing wrong with being typically 80s.
4 February 2010 | by hitchcockthelegendSee all my reviews

Brantley Foster (Michael J,Fox) is from Kansas, wanting to better himself in the big wide world he hits New York hoping to make it big. However, landing a job in the big apple isn't as easy as he had thought. So turning to a tycoon uncle he literally doesn't know, he lands a job the mail room!. From where Brantley leads a double life as he creates Carlton Whitfield and sets about bluffing his way to the top and into the heart of sexy executive Christy Wills (Helen Slater).

Michael J. Fox is on cracking comedy form as the young hero of this 1980s light comedy. It's the sort of 80s film that has managed to break out of that decade and still be enjoyable in this latest, power driven, age. The formula is safe and plays out as expected, and the soundtrack, including notable movie riffs, adds to the high sense of energetic fun on offer. Wafer thin plot be damned, Fox delivers on the star vehicle promise and he in turn is backed up by a smashing turn from Margaret Whitton. Silly, unadulterated fun it be. 7/10


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Frequently Asked Questions

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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

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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