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How to Get Ahead in Advertising (1989)

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1:51 | Trailer

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Dennis Dimbleby Bagley is a brilliant young advertising executive who can't come up with a slogan to sell a revolutionary new pimple cream. His obsessive worrying affects not only his ... See full summary »

Director:

Bruce Robinson

Writer:

Bruce Robinson
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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 Dawn Keeler ... Tweedy Woman
Kerryann White Kerryann White ... Girl in Elevator
Vivienne McKone Vivienne McKone ... Sullivan Bristol Receptionist
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Storyline

Dennis Dimbleby Bagley is a brilliant young advertising executive who can't come up with a slogan to sell a revolutionary new pimple cream. His obsessive worrying affects not only his relationship with his wife, his friends and his boss, but also his own body - graphically demonstrated when he grows a large stress-related boil on his shoulder. But when the boil grows eyes and a mouth and starts talking, Bagley really begins to think he's lost his mind. But has he? Written by Michael Brooke <michael@everyman.demon.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Career Where Two Heads Are Better Than One

Genres:

Comedy | Fantasy

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Handmade Films Website

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

29 March 1990 (West Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

Come fare carriera nella pubblicità See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$418,053
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

HandMade Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

The classic Aston Martin seen (under a dust sheet) 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. It was also to be seen in the background of Withnail & I, when the boys leave London for their 'weekend in the country' See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

[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, and that is what's worrying Best Co., because Best Co. wants to go on selling them what it always has, i.e. white breads, baked beans, canned foods, and that suppurating, fat squirting little heart attack traditionally known as ...
[...]
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Connections

Edited into Video Macumba (1991) See more »

Soundtracks

Jupiter, the Bringer of Jollity from the Planets Op. 32
Composed by Gustav Holst
Conducted by Allan Wilson
Published by J. Curwen & Sons Ltd.
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User Reviews

 
Advertising, Dear Boy
10 June 2006 | by raegan_butcherSee all my reviews

This movie is a riot. Richard E Grant gives an amazingly intense performance. His entire role seems to consist of nothing but brilliantly scabrous monologues. His acerbic take on everything around him starts at a fever pitch and then giddily topples over into outright inspired lunacy. See this film if for no other reason than to get a glimpse of him naked save for a kitchen apron, gleefully stuffing raw chickens down the toilet drain and all the while explaining, " Everything I do makes sense, everything i do has a reason!"

I prefer this style of over the top attack much more than the drier and more subtle (!) mode employed by both writer-director Bruce Robinson and Richard E. Grant in their first collaboration, WITHNAIL & I.

The heights of comic outlandishness achieved in HOW TO GET AHEAD IN ADVERTISING is something that is rarely achieved by any film and it is doubly commendable that everything done here ( no matter how tastelessly crazy) still never stoops to the childishly vulgar levels that most American comedies regularly splash about in like mental asylum inmates happily playing with their own feces. Yes, despite everything this film attempts ( and achieves) it still retains a sense of sophistication that shows what thuddingly awful garbage ( i am looking directly at you AUSTIN POWERS, SCARY MOVIE, etc, etc) is usually regarded as the height of comedy.


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