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How To Get Ahead In Advertising [1989] [DVD]

Richard E. Grant , Rachel Ward , Bruce Robinson    Suitable for 15 years and over   DVD
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Actors: Richard E. Grant, Rachel Ward, Richard Wilson, Jacqueline Tong, John Shrapnel
  • Directors: Bruce Robinson
  • Format: PAL
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Anchor Bay
  • DVD Release Date: 26 Dec 2006
  • Run Time: 90 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000GL17D2
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 80,146 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

Richard E. Grant plays a successful advertising executive who cracks up while trying to think up a campaign for a new spot cream. He then develops a spot himself, which soon enough grows a face and begins talking to him.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
This film is the brainchild of Bruce Robinson, the man-genius behind Withnail And I. Now Withnail is my favourite film of all time - but this is definitely in my top 5, if you thought Richard E Grant was neurotic as Withnail, he was positively laid-back compared to Dennis Bagley.

Bagley is a high-flying advertising executive who can sell anything to anyone, until that is, he starts to have a mental breakdown over some spot cream. The breakdown manifests itself as a series of hallucinations as he believes the boil on his neck is starting to talk to him, which causes him to behave in very strange ways.

Bagley starts to rant and embarrass himself, he exposes social trends as marketing campaigns designed to control consumers and his relationships with friends, work colleagues, and his all start to break down.

This film is a fantastic piece of work - Richard E Grant is beyond fantastic and the visuals are disturbing; a boil with a face and moustache starts to grow into a second head. As a viewer you even start to wonder if the boil is in fact a figment of Bagley's fragile mind, or if it actually *is* slowly taking him over. The rambling mess of a man actually talks sense though, the film acts as a successful diatribe on the fakeness of modern society and the corporations which control us. This film will hopefully inspire the cynic in us all to try and see through the promotional material used to tempt us (or allow us to justify in our own heads) buying things.

Bagley's journey and the constant politically loaded speeches have been dismissed as some as overbearing and longwinded, but for me the energy behind the delivery gives them unlimited re-watch value and the frantic expression on his face simply adds to the humour.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant insight into modern day life. 21 April 2006
Although this film isn't new - (and it gets a bit older every day!). Its cynical view on media manipulation and advertising becomes more true as every day passes.

This film really does make you think about how society gets moulded by advertising. It attacks the material world from the very heart of it - the advertising industry.

The main focus of the film is how a high flying advertising executive (Denis Dimbleby Bagley - played by Richard E Grant) starts to have a mental breakdown as he starts to question his position in the world and his contribution to the Capitalist world. This breakdown is presents itself on screen by use of an odd metaphor - a talking boil.

This film is writen and directed by Bruce Robinson, (the creator of my favourite film of all time "Withnail and I"). This film is very different but every bit as genius. Richard E Grant is still as Neurotic - but in a very different way.

This film is worth watching on the merits of Richard E Grants acting alone but, the fantastic script, the boil, and the social message make it a cult classic.

Everyone should see this film at least once ....a month!
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Such a nice title to own. 27 May 2004
By A Customer
Richard E Grant pulls viewers from the comfort of their own reality, into the dark and intensely funny depths of his own insanity. How To Get Ahead In Advertising is, in my humble opinion, one of the funniest tales ever to hit the big screen from the British film industry.
The film centers around the lead Character, Denis Dimbleby Bagley, which Grant plays to perfection as his onscreen alter-ego, struggling with a new marketing campaign for pimple cream, soon realizes the evils of the advertising world and resigns. He then develops a boil on his neck which grows and with the boils new found size comes its strange ability to speak, much to the dismay of Bagley, his wife and any other unfortunate individual who may happen to cross Bagley’s' path.
I have watched this film many times over the years and the razor sharp wit delivered from the script, via Grant, to the viewers is intense with 100% laughter guaranteed upon each and every viewing. Grants' delivery builds up the situation from a crazy little boil to a crescendo of insane spot-related hilarity with clinical accuracy. The laughs come thick and fast with some interesting (if somewhat factually incorrect) underlying analogies of precisely what’s wrong with the world today. Buy it, watch it, and struggle to dislike it. This remains a special title to add sparkle to any film collection.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By rob crawford TOP 1000 REVIEWER
This film is one long fantasy indictment of the advertising industry. Sure, as a profession, they do a lot of weird and ridiculous things, so I don't mean to defend it. But to base a whole movie on it? After a while, it is simply over the top. I saw this to see what Grant could do after the incomparable Withnail and I, one of the best black comedies I have ever seen.

Grant plays an ad man who is burnt out. Cynical and drinking way too much, he is at that point in his career when he can find something new or plod ahead in a well worn track. He wants to quit, but another part of himself wants to become the essence of the emptiness he perceives at the heart of the profession, manifesting itself in a pretty crude symbolism that I don't want to give away. It is OK and Grant is at times very funny, but he can't make a mediocre and limited script into a great film.

Recommended tepidly.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Classic British Satire
An underrated and forgotten British classic. A kind of Reginald Perrin meets the New Statement with a bit of Jekyll and Hyde thrown in for good measure. Read more
Published 21 days ago by A. Lambeth
5.0 out of 5 stars Hysterical
Really funny, excellent film. Arrived quickly after ordering, in excellent condition and exactly as described. Good value. Read more
Published on 15 Nov 2011 by Janey
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
present for daughter
Published on 7 Dec 2010 by P. wicks
3.0 out of 5 stars fabulous movie but this copy has bad screen quality
as the title says; this excellent motion picture really deserves a better fate than this grainy dvd.
It looks like its a VHS copy rather than DVD.
Published on 8 Jun 2010 by Lauge Brixvold
1.0 out of 5 stars Surrealist over the top nonsense
Just saw this on television, and couldn't believe what I was seeing. The film became truly ridiculous once Rochard E Grant's 'Boil' starts talking to him. Read more
Published on 16 May 2009 by GB Jordan
5.0 out of 5 stars Just fantastic
As a big fan of Bruce Robinson, I first saw 'get a head' about 17 years ago - years before I watched Withnail (no introduction required for most of you I'd guess). Read more
Published on 22 Jan 2007 by Mark B
1.0 out of 5 stars Very unfunny
Maybe I was in the wrong mood, but I failed to find anything funny in the movie. Perhaps one of the last British comedies before 'Four Weddings and a Funeral', it shows... Read more
Published on 12 Mar 2006 by Gavin Wilson
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