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How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying
How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying
Actors: Robert Morse, Michelle Lee, Rudy Vallee, Anthony Teague
Director: David Swift
Genres: Comedy, Musicals & Performing Arts
UR     2000     2hr 1min

Big business means big laughs as Robert Morse schemes and scams his way to the top in this bold andbawdy musical that celebrates the Great American Corporate Wayand lampoons it at the same time. With musical supervision by...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Robert Morse, Michelle Lee, Rudy Vallee, Anthony Teague
Director: David Swift
Genres: Comedy, Musicals & Performing Arts
Sub-Genres: Classic Comedies, Musicals
Studio: MGM (Video & DVD)
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen,Letterboxed - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 04/18/2000
Original Release Date: 03/09/1967
Theatrical Release Date: 03/09/1967
Release Year: 2000
Run Time: 2hr 1min
Screens: Color,Widescreen,Letterboxed
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 3
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Languages: English, Spanish
Subtitles: English, Spanish, French

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Member Movie Reviews

Robert J. from SUNNYSIDE, NY
Reviewed on 8/10/2009...
Lots of fun. Great vintage NYC shots. It's a shame, though, that they cut more than a few numbers from the stage show for the movie version.
0 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.

Movie Reviews

A Sharp Comic Rap Across The Corporate Knuckles
Gary F. Taylor | Biloxi, MS USA | 05/13/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"One of the most often overlooked movie musicals of the 1960s is also one of the most successful: the screen version of the Broadway smash HOW TO SUCCEED IN BUSINESS WITHOUT REALLY TRYING, which delivers a sharp comic rap across the corporate knuckles in its tale of a nobody (Robert Morse) who uses a self-help book to rocket up the corporate ladder--and by the time our hero reaches the heights, romantic complications leads him to wonder what price corporate success.Although the business world has changed quite a bit since 1967, SUCCEED is so dead-on with its attack that even modern corporate leaders will be bloodied from the fray. The company is just large enough so that no one knows what is actually going on, leadership cries out for creative solutions then promptly fires any one who shows a talent for it, and promotion doesn't hinge so much upon ability as it does upon [kissing] up, backstabbing, and looking like you know what you're doing. There are jabs at dressing for success, the idea that employees don't engage in sexual hankypanky, hidden nepotism, and the importance of belonging to the "right" clubs. And along the way our hero meets the classic business crowd: the company man, the bombshell secretary, the boss' nephew, and a host of largely incompetent yes-men VPs.The film is very stylized, making no pretense at naturalism per se, and the cast follows suit, playing in a way that blends beautifully with the self-boosting and jingoistic tone that pervades the piece. Robert Morse gives a truly brilliant performance in the lead--and one wonders why Hollywood so seldom used him in later years; Michele Lee, as the secretary who befriends him, is equally fine, and the supporting cast is wonderful all the way around. The musical numbers (which includes such numbers as "The Company Way," "A Secretary Is Not A Toy," "It's Been A Long Day," and "Brotherhood of Man") are remarkably sly and memorably performed. All in all, HOW TO SUCCEED IN BUSINESS WITHOUT REALLY TRYING is sure to appeal to any one who has had the misfortune to graple with the idiocies of corporate America--and it will almost certainly outrage every "company man" on your city block. Strongly recommended, but make sure you get the widescreen version; pan-and-scan doesn't cut it on this one!"
It's Not What You Know, But How Well You Brownnose
M. Hart | USA | 05/19/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"The 1967 musical comedy "How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying" is based upon a 1962 Broadway musical of the same name, as well as the similarly titled novel that was written by Shepherd Mead. The story begins with J. Pierpont Finch (Robert Morse) who works as a skyscraper window washer. He finds and begins to read a self-help book entitled "How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying". Following advice from the book and while washing windows outside, he sneaks into of an office of the World Wide Wicket Corporation (WWWC). Quickly stripping out of his orange window-washing coveralls, Finch wears a smart business suit beneath and quickly endears himself to the company's president, J.B. Biggley (Rudy Vallee), one of the secretaries, Rosemary Pilkington (Michelle Lee), as well as a host of yes-men vice presidents. Impressed, J.B. sends Finch to the personnel office to be promptly hired to work in the company's mailroom. There, Finch meets J.B.'s nephew, Bud Frump (Anthony Teague), who also works for WWWC in the mailroom. Continuing to follow advice from the self-help book, Finch finagles and brownnoses his way up the corporate ladder in record speed and develops a love interest with Rosemary, but not everyone is happy with Finch's rise within the company. J.B. also hires a very attractive 'friend', Hedy LaRue (Maureen Arthur), who has little experience working in an office, but has a lot of experience with men.The engaging, original music in the film, which was written by Frank Loesser, includes the songs: * "How To" (sung by Robert Morse).
* "The Company Way" (sung by Robert Morse).
* "A Secretary Is Not A Toy" (sung by company employees).
* "Been A Long Day" (sung by company employees).
* "Rosemary" (sung by Robert Morse).
* "Grand Old Ivy" (sung by Robert Morse and Rudy Vallee).
* "I Believe In You" (sung by Michelle Lee).
* "Brotherhood Of Man" (sung by company employees).Though some of the activities shown in "How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying" are dated and chauvinistic by today's business standards (and discouraged by the Labor Department and the EEOC), the basic message of the story regarding nepotism, brownnosing, favoritism, scapegoating, affairs between employees, people hired for their appearance, backstabbing and mismanagement within corporations is just as relevant today as it was over 40 years ago. Creative employees are summarily fired for their ideas, others with more corporate clout get those same ideas approved by management. People who went to the right schools or joined the right clubs move up quickly, as well as people who easily agree with superiors and/or dress as well as possible. It's not what you know, but who you know, how well you brownnose, how good of an appearance you make and how well you avoid trouble that makes one successful in the corporate world.Robert Morse is hilarious in the film, as are Rudy Vallee, Maureen Arthur and Michelle Lee. The film was well scripted and the sets are appropriate for a late 1960's office building. It is likely that the film inspired Michael J. Fox's 1987 film, "The Secret of My Succe$s". Overall, I rate the film with 5 out of 5 stars. So sit back, get a bowl of popcorn and see whether you want to do things the company way."
D. Goldberg | LA , Ca | 02/25/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This is one of the best transfers of a hit Broadway musical to movie musical. Everyone is superb! From Michelle Lee
to Robert Morse to Rudy Vallee to Ruth Kobart--all re-creating their Broadway Roles! Robert Morse's brilliant performance alone is worth the price of the dvd. Maureen Arthur's sexpot defines the word and is hilarious. Okay you can gripe that a few numbers from the Broadway Musical were left out--but overall this is a major success.Concerns a window washer who reads a book "How to Succeed in Business" and within about a week, goes from
mail room clerk to Chairman of the Board . And he get's the girl in the end. Fosse's Broadway choreography was recreated by an assistant for the film. Frank Loesser's Score is classic and singable. And it shows how using the original Broadway Cast can make a film work incredibly well. (Take note those people who cast Lucille Ball in Mame and Peter O Toole in Man of La Mancha to terrible outcomes)I don't think this film was a huge hit when it came out but it surely deserved to be. I watch it over and over. I sing the songs. It's a keeper."