A cynical advertising exec has a block at work leading to a meltdown. He's hilariously out of control. Getting a big, talking boil on his shoulder doesn't help.

Director:

Bruce Robinson

Writer:

Bruce Robinson
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Richard E. Grant ... Bagley
Rachel Ward ... Julia
Richard Wilson ... 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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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

SMOKE GETS IN YOUR EYES
Words by Otto A. Harbach
Music by Jerome Kern
Performed by Joanna Mays
Used by permission of Chappell Music Ltd.
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User Reviews

 
B-movie on paper, A-movie when viewed

Quite a special and singular film! I was not expecting the movie to go the route it did but I was very glad it did. Most films that go down the absurd path that this did usually end up somewhere in a pool of camp or B-movie status, but this movie has enough plausible meaning, and is written, acted, and delivered with such impeccable talent that it holds ground as a film that can be taken seriously thoroughly in all regards. The concept is quite brilliant and daring and it was pulled off in a manner that is only more impressive as the movie continues - there is intelligence behind it. I was thinking through most of it how it surprisingly didn't remind me of most other British films or even British humor that I have observed - the only thing I could really place it with is some of the more bizarre Australian books, shows, and films I have taken in over the years. Richard E. Grant honestly gives an Oscar worthy performance in this - he is a maniac, and his range deserves immense praise. The film does feel somewhat inconclusive, but I really don't have many complaints about it... I am excited to check out the director's most notable film, Withnail & I, soon.


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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:

How to Get Ahead in Advertising See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$418,053

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$418,053
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Company Credits

Production Co:

HandMade Films See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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