How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying [1967]

Genre: Comedy, Musical
This fizzy musical was a Broadway smash in 1962, and boy, is it a product of its era. Executive washrooms, gray-flannel-suit businessmen, hip-swinging secretaries--they're all preserved in the movie's brightly colored amber. J. Pierpont Finch (Robert Morse) is the window washer who climbs the corporate ladder in a few days, guided by a how-to book. The Frank Loesser songs are great fun, the Bob Fosse dances are very clever and mod, and the gaudy set design may have given Andy Warhol a few ideas. The jack-in-the-box performance of the elfin Robert Morse doesn't seem toned down from his Tony-winning stage turn; think Mickey Rooney doing Jerry Lewis. Still, Morse is a unique presence, and his mad little solo dance down a real Manhattan street is an interlude of sublime daffiness. Grand old crooner Rudy Vallee shines as the president of Worldwide Wicket, barking his beloved alma mater's fight song: "Groundhog! Groundhog!" --Robert Horton

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