6.9/10
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How to Get Ahead in Advertising (1989)

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1:52 | Trailer
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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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

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$418,053
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

HandMade Films See more »
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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

During the anniversary party, the strap on Julia's dress changes shoulders for one scene. When the dress is on the opposite shoulder, it looks a different colour as well. 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

Referenced in The Simpsons: Treehouse of Horror XIX (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

Symphony No. 3 in C minor, Op. 78 ('Organ Symphony')
Composed by Camille Saint-Saëns
Conducted by Rick Wentworth
Published by Editions Durand, S.A. Paris-UMP Ltd.
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User Reviews

 
Great film on modern life
11 October 2002 | by funkyfrySee all my reviews

Hilarious, bitter satire of adverising, humanity, and personality. Ad exec Dennis Bagley gets so hung up on boils developing a "boilbusters" ad campaign that he grows a malignant boil which takes on its own personality and eventually takes over the show. Grant is perfect in the lead role, the direction and photography are excellent, and the effects cheap but grotesque. There are so many hilarious scenes, I found myself laughing out loud through most of the film even though I saw it by myself! I love the scene where Bagley explains to his wife why the boil only talks to her when she turns away : "He's waiting for you to do it!" A classic, should be sought out by all fans of sadistic humour(especially British, i.e. League of Gentlemen, Monty Python) .


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