How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying
Robert Morse recreated his Tony-winning stage role in this 1967 film version of Frank Loesser's Pulitzer Prize-winning Broadway musical. A humble window washer at the New York offices of World Wide Wickets, J. Pierpont Finch applies the lessons he's learned from a book called How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying to wangle his way to the top of the executive heap. Though advised by the mailroom supervisor (Sammy Smith) to keep a low profile and play things "The Company Way," Finch follows his own skewed set of rules, endearing himself to bombastic company president J. B. Biggely (Rudy Vallee) by posing as a graduate of Grand Old Ivy, Biggely's alma mater. As he climbs to the top, Finch manages to dispose of an over-amorous rival by arranging a tryst between that rival and curvaceous secretary Hedy LaRue (Maureen Arthur)--who happens to be Biggely's live-in girlfriend. Finch also gets rid of the troublesome Mr. Ovington (Murray Matheson) by exposing the latter as an alumnus of Old Ivy's hated rival university. Graduating to vice-president, Finch feels secure enough to sing the show's one genuine love song "I Believe In You"--to himself! Actually, he's really in love with true-blue secretary Rosemary (Michele Lee), but won't admit to this until he suffers a career setback. Most of Loesser's songs survived the transition from stage to screen, with the exception of "Paris Original," which is heard merely as background music.