Posted by Jaya Ramdath on August 1, 2011 at 12:04 pm
J. Pierpont Finch (Robert Morse) buys a book entitled, “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying,” on his way to work. Reading the first couple of pages, he steps into a building through a window (he’s a window washer), miraculously gets himself hired and moves up the ladder of success by doing exactly as the book says. And along the way, he meets the lovely secretary Rosemary Pilkington (Michele Lee), who pursues him as much as she can without really pursuing him (all girls will completely understand what I’m trying to say here). But you can only get so far when you have the many enemies Finch creates in all the competitors he beat on his quick rise to success. In fact, his main adversary is the boss’ nephew, Bud Frump, who calls his mother on the pretense of “going out for a smoke” every time something does not go his way.
Although the film was not popular with the awards, it earned a well deserved nomination for AFI’s Top 100 Laughs. The humor is perfect for those who love sarcasm, as every line is filled with it. There’s a bit of truth behind every point Finch’s literary guide has to make that connects to every audience member. Robert Morse, who is now known as Bertram Cooper on Mad Men (funnily enough), is perfect as the ambitious newbie who lucks into everything. Nevertheless, my personal favorite is Bud Frump (Anthony Teague), who will always make you laugh with every breakdown he has every time Finch does something right. And the music is very easy on the ears for first time listeners.
Whether or not you’ve seen the Broadway show, this is a classic you shouldn’t miss!
Bud Frump: “I beg your pardon, I do not go crying to my uncle! It just happens my mother is Mrs. Biggley’s sister. If I feel something’s wrong, I phone my mother. She phones Mrs. Biggley, and Mrs. Biggley phones Mr. Biggley. That’s the DEMOCRATIC way.”