The Secret of My Succes
Release year: 1987
Director: Herbert Ross
Screenwriter: Jim Cash, Jack Epps Jr., AJ Carothers
Starring: Michael J. Fox, Helen Slater, Richard Jordan, Margaret Whitton, John Pankow, Christopher Murney, Fred Gwynne
Ratings: 1 Golden Globe nomination: Best Original Song
Young Brantley (Fox) from Kansas moves to New York right after college to pursue success. When he shows up to his new job and finds out it doesn’t exist anymore, he contacts his distant uncle Howard (Jordan) who runs a multi-million-dollar company. Here he gets a position in the mailroom, but Brantley has unstoppable ambitions.
The term ‘yuppie’ came into the world in the 1980s and it shows in the movies of the decades: Wall Street (1987), Baby Boom (1987), Working Girl (1988) and this Michael J. Fox (Back to the Future, 1985) all came out in the last half of the decade. This was also the height of Fox’s career and his boyish charms is put to full use as the kind, honourable and charming country kid, who finds his own way to the top. There are several great moments, like the car ride with the brilliant Whitton (Major Legaue, 1989) to the perfectly used tones of Yello’s Oh Yeah or Brantley getting caught with his pants down. Twice. Sure, there are mediocre moments of Brantley being chased by his boss and a foursome of people running around at night looking for each other, but every moment is lifted by characters made great by an outstandingly charming cast. Fox and Whitton are joined by a sweet Slater (City Slickers, 1991), Jordan (The Hunt for red October, 1990) and a great Pankow (Morning Glory, 2010). A pleasant and undeniable charming movie which you would want to watch again and again to revisit the character.
This film was inspired by the early Hollywood experiences of Steven Spielberg, who snuck onto the Universal Studios lot at a young age and began using an empty office as his own production office.
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Picture copyrights: UIP