The Golden Throats Wiki

This is about the film. For the stage musical, see How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying (musical).

How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.

How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying is a musical film based on the book and musical of the same name.


  • Robert Morse - J. Pierpont Finch
  • Michele Lee - Rosemary Pilkington
  • Rudy Vallee - J.B. Biggley
  • Anthony Teague - Bud Frump
  • Maureen Arthur - Hedy LaRue
  • John Myhers - Bert O. Bratt
  • Kay Reynolds - Miss Smith/Smitty
  • Ruth Kobart - Miss Jones
  • Sammy Smith - Twimble/Wally Womper


J. Pierpont Finch buys a book, How to Succeed in Business, describing in step-by-step fashion how to rise in the business world. The ambitious young window cleaner follows its advice carefully. He joins the "World-Wide Wicket Company" and begins work in the mailroom. Soon, thanks to the ethically questionable advice in the book, he rises to Vice-President in Charge of Advertising, making sure that each person above him gets either fired or moved or transferred within the company.

Finch begins to fall in love with Rosemary Pilkington, a secretary at the company. Finch finds out that the president of the company, J. B. Biggley, has made advances towards Hedy LaRue, a beautiful but incompetent woman the company has hired. Finch uses this information to assist his climb on the corporate ladder.

Biggley's annoying nephew, Bud Frump, also takes advantage of the situation and tries to get to the top before Finch. By story's end, however, Finch has become chairman of the board, and might make the White House his next step to success.

Musical numbers

  • "How To" - Finch
  • "The Company Way" - Finch and Twimble
  • "A Secretary Is Not a Toy" - Bratt, Frump and Office Staff
  • "Been a Long Day " - Finch, Rosemary, Biggley, Miss Smith, Hedy and Frump
  • "I Believe in You" - Finch, Rosemary and Executives
  • "Grand Old Ivy" - Biggley and Finch
  • "Rosemary" - Finch
  • "Brotherhood of Man" - Finch, Biggley, Bratt, Frump, Wally, Miss Jones and the Office Staff
  • "Gotta Stop That Man" - Finch and Executives