To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying/C+,C+
A comic tunnel vision view of climbing up the
ladder to corporate success, How to Succeed in Business Without Trying doesn't show its age
because of concept. Corporate politics may have changed significantly, but one can still relate to
the musical's world. However, the songs fail to inspire. Clever lyrics off-set stiff musical
composition to some degree. Ironically, with choreography based on the original Broadway work of
Bob Fosse, I would have hoped for invigorating production numbers, but they lack energy and are far
too coy for today's audiences. Only "The Brotherhood of Love," lights of the screen
with excitement, but even it seems like a rip from Guys and Dolls,
Young window washer J. Pierpont Finch is inspired by the title book to seek
success. He doesn't have to look much further than the tip of his nose as he enters into the employ
of the World Wide Wicket Company. From the mail room Finch unlocks everything from the corporate
wash room to a secretary's heart. Nepotism roadblocks notwithstanding, Finch cajoles and conspires
with religious faithfulness to the precepts of his bible of success.
|Finch watches as Biggley commands
center stage. ©MGM
Robert Morse is ever too precious as Finch.
Morse puts over the songs well enough, but if you don't enjoy his broad and obvious style How
to Succeed is a mighty long ladder climb. Michelle Lee as secretary Rosemary Pilkington
matches Morse mug for mug. They are like a pair of plastic syrup container dolls, lacing out out
big blobs of saccharine goo. Rudy Vallee is arch as company president J.B. Biggley and Anthony
Teague positively annoying Bud Frump. Sammy Smith adds some comic spice int he dual roles of
Twimble and Wally Womper.
It is often a difficult task to translate successful Broadway
musical to film. David Swift directs reprising his Broadway assignment and, yes, the film feels
The transfer is bright and packs plenty of punch. Images are sharp, but it
appears the DVD pressing may originate from a composite transfer. There were some cross color
artifacts and films detail exhibits some jitter. Color is the best thing about the transfer.
Cartoon color schemes dominate most scenes. The Dolby Digital mono sound is clean and precise.
Take a look at the merry images of America's gift to
the movies: Hollywood Musical Posters are featured from The Movie
Selections from the feature archive include articles on Akira Kurosawa,
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Street Gangs, or Vietnam:
The Hollywood Pariah, and many more...
The Adventures of Robin Hood to Casablanca, director Michael Curtiz made movies that delighted
audiences. Click on the image for Michael Curtiz:
Lovers of Hong Kong movies will relish MC4's
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Excellent resource for movie review links, with many early looks.
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