The Secret of My Success (1987 film)
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|The Secret of My Success|
|Directed by||Herbert Ross|
|Produced by||Herbert Ross|
|Written by||A.J. Carothers (story)|
Jim Cash (screenplay)
|Starring||Michael J. Fox|
|Music by||Night Ranger|
|Cinematography||Carlo Di Palma|
|Editing by||Paul Hirsch|
|Distributed by||Universal Studios|
|Release date(s)||April 10, 1987|
|Running time||111 min.|
The Secret of My Success (sometimes stylized as The Secret of My Succe$s) is a 1987 American comedy film starring Michael J. Fox and Helen Slater, produced and directed by the late Herbert Ross (Footloose). The screenplay is written by Jim Cash, who previously co-scripted Top Gun.
Brantley Foster (Michael J. Fox) is a recent graduate of Kansas State University who moves to New York City where he has landed a job as a financier. Upon arriving, he discovers that the company for which he's supposed to work has been taken over by a rival corporation. As a result, Brantley is laid off before he even starts working.
After several unsuccessful attempts to get another job, mostly because he's either overqualified or underqualified and has little experience, Brantley ends up working in the mailroom of Pemrose Incorporated, which is directed by his uncle, Howard Prescott (Richard Jordan). Pemrose was founded by Prescott's father-in-law; Howard received presidency of the company by marrying his boss's daughter, Vera Pemrose (Margaret Whitton).
Upon inspecting company reports, Brantley realizes that Prescott and most of his fellow "suits" (executives) are making ineffective and/or non-beneficial decisions. After Brantley notices an empty office in the building, due to one of Howard's frequent firings, he assumes the identity of Carlton Whitfield, a new executive.
While handling two jobs (switching between casual wear and business suits by stripping in the elevator), Brantley also falls head-over-heels for Christy Wills (Helen Slater), a fellow financial wizard who recently graduated from Harvard. Brantley meets Vera after driving her home in a company limo (at his employer's request). Vera persuades Brantley to stay for a swim and seduces him. Upon seeing Prescott arriving, Brantley and Vera realize they are related (albeit not by blood). Brantley then gets changed as fast as he can and leaves the mansion without being seen by Prescott.
Prescott, without Brantley's knowledge, is having an affair with Christy. When Howard asks her to spy on Carlton Whitfield, Christy falls head-over-heels for Carlton, not knowing he is actually Brantley. The Pemrose Corporation is preparing to merge with the infamous Davenport Corporation. Prescott, unaware that Whitfield and Brantley are one and the same person, suspects Carlton is a spy for corporate raider Donald Davenport (Fred Gwynne).
In the end, Brantley and Vera raise enough cash, bonds, and stocks to wrest ownership of the Pemrose Corporation from Prescott, and to proceed with a hostile takeover bid of Davenport's Corporation. Vera, already contemptuous of Howard for his counter-productive business practices, which were driving her father's empire into the ground, learns that Prescott has been cheating on her to boot. She promptly replaces him with Brantley. While security guards escort Howard and his aide, Art Thomas (Gerry Bamman), from the Pemrose Building, Brantley and Christy start planning their future together, personal as well as professional.
- Michael J. Fox as Brantley Foster/Carlton Whitfield
- Helen Slater as Christy Wills
- Richard Jordan as Howard Prescott
- Margaret Whitton as Vera Prescott
- John Pankow as Fred Melrose
- Fred Gwynne as Donald Davenport
- Gerry Bamman as Art Thomas
|Secret of My Success Soundtrack|
|Soundtrack by Various Artists|
|Released||April 10, 1987|
The soundtrack was released April 10, 1987, though the compact disc release has long been out of print. It was produced by noted music producer David Foster, who also contributes several instrumental tracks to the album.
Not all of the songs featured in the film are included on the soundtrack, or, at least not in the same version. The film version of The Secret of My Success is slightly different, and also features a mini-instrumental version. The film version of "I Burn for You" does not feature vocals, whereas the soundtrack version does. The "Restless Heart" track from the film has a different title and different lyrics than the soundtrack version.
The Secret Of My Success: Music From The Motion Picture Soundtrack peaked at #131 on The Billboard 200.
- Track listing
- "The Secret of My Success" (performed by Night Ranger)
- "Sometimes the Good Guys Finish First" (performed by Pat Benatar)
- "I Burn for You" (performed by Danny Peck and Nancy Shanks)
- "Riskin' a Romance" (performed by Bananarama)
- "Gazebo" (performed by David Foster)
- "The Price of Love" (performed by Roger Daltrey)
- "Water Fountain" (performed by David Foster)
- "Don't Ask the Reason Why" (performed by Restless Heart)
- "3 Themes" (performed by David Foster)
- "Heaven and the Heartaches" (performed by Taxxi)
At the 2009 BRIT Awards in London, comedian Leigh Francis's character Keith Lemon announced on an interview with Absolute Radio that he is working on a sequel, titled 'The Secret of My Success 2'. It is known that Lemon will play Brantley Foster and Carlton Whitfield as well as write and/or produce the movie. Work began on the film in Summer 2009, and it is slated for a Winter 2010/Spring 2011 release in the UK, with the probability of a Summer 2011 release in the USA and the rest of the world.
- The "Pemrose building" exteriors were shots at 101 Park Avenue, 599 Lexington Avenue, and 1166 Avenue of the Americas (execs roof run, interior office shots).
- John Pankow plays Brantley's mailroom colleague. Fred Gwynne plays Mr. Davenport. Cindy Crawford makes a fleeting cameo appearance in the opening credits.
- Playwright Christopher Durang appears as a Pemrose executive and worked on uncredited rewrites of the screenplay.
- The film grossed $ 66,995,879 and domestically, became the 7th biggest grossing film of 1987.
- A 1965 film of the same title starred Shirley Jones.
- Loosely translated into an episode of TV's It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, titled "Sweet Dee Has a Heart Attack"