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4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying [DVD]
Format: DVD|Change
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on 21 January 2015
This is an underrated gem that outshines the better-known Guys and Dolls. This has subtlety and irony, it is better cast and the songs are better. but it and enjoy!
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on 3 September 2017
Not bursting with hits like Guys and Dolls but really entertaining nontheless.
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on 30 May 2017
This is one of the best musicals from the 1960s. Even if you don't like musicals, this will work for you. Fine score and performances.
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on 10 March 2016
I never did manage to get the VHS version of this film when I was replacing my 8mm collection in the 1980s and only managed to get a DVD copy to replace my TV recording with German subtitles a couple of years ago (in Spain) but it is now available online in the UK.

This very underrated 1967 musical with score by Frank Loesser and Nelson Riddle and starring the equally under rated Robert Morse was a tremendous hit on Broadway but a spectacular flop in cinemas on both sides of the Atlantic.

A pity because the songs are great, the comedy timing perfect and the cast superb. Fortunately the film now has a cult following even though it is a bit dated....but then so the charming Doris Day films which still top the musical sales charts.

Well worth watching and a must for the collector.
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on 19 September 2010
A bright and breezy and somewhat cynical 1960s musical comedy satire of American big business with lots of energy, some good (but not great) songs and a powerhouse of a central performance, How To Succeed In Business is a pleasant romp that can be enjoyed by everyone but especially appreciated by anyone who has ever worked in an office. Its silly story of a guy who uses a "how to" book to progress from window cleaner to company president is like a modern fairy tale with music, romance, and a bit of sex thrown in.

Leading the way and holding the whole thing together is Robert Morse, reprising his Broadway role as J. Pierrepont Finch in a super star-making performance. Morse's long experience with this character is obvious as he sings, dances, grins, mugs and schemes his way through the film. He is never better than when performing his big number "I Believe In You" - sung to his reflection in the mirror of the executive washroom. (Morse has more recently returned to a big New York office setting in the tv series Mad Men.)

A couple of other players from the Broadway original are also in the film, most notably Sammy Smith (again playing two roles) and veteran crooner Rudy Vallee. Michelle Lee is pert and pretty as Morse's secretarial love interest, Anthony Teague (one of the Jets in West Side Story) is the boss's slimy nephew, and Maureen Arthur provides more than a dash of sex appeal as an inept but well-endowed secretary. But the show really belongs to Robert Morse.

The bouncy songs are by ace tunesmith Frank Loesser (this was his followup to his classic Guys And Dolls). Unfortunately, as so often happens with Hollywood versions of Broadway shows, some of the songs got dropped with gems such as "Coffee Break" and "Paris Original" among the lamented casualties. But the songs that remain are enthusiastically and imaginatively performed, especially the popular "A Secretary Is Not A Toy."

I have heard, but never been able to confirm, that this film was released in France with all the songs removed - that is was shown as just a comedy. If so, it is a good indication of just how strong and funny the script is on its own. It also tells us something about the weirdness of the French.

For the rest of us, How To Succeed In Business remains a fun time to be enjoyed by all. It never takes itself seriously and that is one of its great virtues. Its other assets are colour, laughs, music, slapstick, sex, and - more than anything else - Robert Morse. He was great on stage - he's great in this movie.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 6 October 2005
"How to Succeed" is a snappy satire of big business and is one of the most energetic and likeable movie musicals ever. As the story opens, J. Pierpont Finch (Robert Morse) is a poor but very confident window washer; he finds a "how-to" book that can teach him to climb the corporate ladder in no time at all. Ponty follows the book's advice and advances from the mailroom of the World Wide Wicket Company to become its president, falling in love with secretary Rosemary (Michele Lee) along the way.

The movie looks like a staged play, and that's a good thing, since this was such a smash hit on Broadway. It preserves forever the innocence of the early sixties with vibrant colours, secretaries in pillbox hats and gloves, and references to Metrecal and Wildroot Cream-Oil. Above all, it is a joyful celebration of musical talent. Morse originated the stage role of Ponty and this movie made him an even bigger star. He is a great singer and dancer, but it's his larger-than-life personality and toothy charisma that keep you rooting for him. He's simply adorable. Michele Lee is perfect as his leading lady, and Rudy Vallee reprises his stage role as the singing, dancing, and knitting Big Boss. The Frank Loesser songs are staged with the big band sound of Nelson Riddle, and you'll be singing along with the clever tunes that poke endless fun at office politics. This movie will make you smile; it's wonderful.
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on 29 August 2012
I bought this in August 2012 and the quality is great and much better than my region 1 version of this film from several years ago. The transfer is 2.35:1 anamorphic (unlike my old region 1 version). The title sequence is window boxed with borders on all sides, but this is normal (to avoid parts of the titles being lost due to overscan on some people's TV's) and only applies to the title sequence.
Transfer really nice although I would love a blu-ray version of this film. It's great to see Robert Morse here since he's in Mad Men as well and both films have a similar theme.
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on 11 March 2010
I'm afraid that Optimum have failed to live up to their dictionary definition ('best result obtainable') with this DVD because all they seem to have done is re-release the original version from 2000. 10 years down the line and it's still a non-anamorphic widescreen picture in a 4x3 box - what a disappointment!

The sparse 'extras' comprise a vintage film trailer - the same as the original disc. Maybe Robert Morse would do a commentary or interview (he's now in his late seventies) - but I doubt anyone's bothered to ask him!

I'd guess that a 1966 stereo master tape of the songs from this film is sitting in an MGM vault somewhere - it would be great to have that dubbed onto the DVD soundtrack.

I really like this film, but I can't recommend this lazy effort. If you can find the original DVD cheaper you might as well get that.
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on 11 January 2013
Bobby Morse steals the show, which is one of my favorites. Bought this to replace lousy non-anamorphic disc I have owned for years. This has better sharpness also. Still would love to see it on Blu-ray in hi def.
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on 11 June 2012
If you haven't seen this film, you should! It's an absolute gem of a musical, and it's not shown nearly enough on TV, in my humble opinion. The choreography is brilliant (arranged by the great Bob Fosse), and Robert Morse is wonderful in the lead role. Look out for the fab 60's fashions!
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